Herbicides and Cancer: A Review and Discussion of Methodologic Issues
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, investigators in Sweden reported over fivefold risks for soft-tissue sarcoma and lymphoma among persons exposed to phenoxyacetic acid herbicides and chlorophenols (Eriksson et al. 1981; Hardell and Sandstrom 1979; Hardell et al. 1981). The possibility that these widely used and important commercial chemicals might be human carcinogens prompted a number of epidemiologic investigations. Reports from over 20 additional studies are now available. Results from these investigations, which employed cohort and case-control designs, have not been consistent, but as of yet the discrepancies cannot be explained. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of available findings, to note consistencies and inconsistencies, to consider methodologic issues, particularly for case-control studies that might account for these inconsistencies, and to identify areas of research needing development.
KeywordsLymphoma Leukemia Arsenic Sarcoma Smoke
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