Send to

Choose Destination
Occup Environ Med. 2015 Jul;72(7):496-503. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2014-102728. Epub 2015 Apr 23.

Incidence of solid tumours among pesticide applicators exposed to the organophosphate insecticide diazinon in the Agricultural Health Study: an updated analysis.

Author information

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Population Health Research Institute, St. George's, University of London, London, UK.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.



Diazinon, a common organophosphate insecticide with genotoxic properties, was previously associated with lung cancer in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) cohort, but few other epidemiological studies have examined diazinon-associated cancer risk. We used updated diazinon exposure and cancer incidence information to evaluate solid tumour risk in the AHS.


Male pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina reported lifetime diazinon use at enrolment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1998-2005); cancer incidence was assessed through 2010(North Carolina)/2011(Iowa). Among applicators with usage information sufficient to evaluate exposure-response patterns, we used Poisson regression to estimate adjusted rate ratios (RRs) and 95% CI for cancer sites with ≥10 exposed cases for both lifetime (LT) exposure days and intensity-weighted (IW) lifetime exposure days (accounting for factors impacting exposure).


We observed elevated lung cancer risks (N=283) among applicators with the greatest number of LT (RR=1.60; 95% CI 1.11 to 2.31; P(trend)=0.02) and IW days of diazinon use (RR=1.41; 95% CI 0.98 to 2.04; P(trend)=0.08). Kidney cancer (N=94) risks were non-significantly elevated (RR(LT) days=1.77; 95% CI 0.90 to 3.51; P(trend)=0.09; RR(IW) days 1.37; 95% CI 0.64 to 2.92; P(trend)=0.50), as were risks for aggressive prostate cancer (N=656).


Our updated evaluation of diazinon provides additional evidence of an association with lung cancer risk. Newly identified links to kidney cancer and associations with aggressive prostate cancer require further evaluation.


diazinon; insecticides; neoplasms; organophosphate

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center