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.
KeywordsMultiple Myeloma Exposure Evaluation Phenoxyacetic Acid Acid Herbicide Work Environ Health
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Blair A, Zahm SH, Cantor KP, Stewart PA (1989) Estimating exposure to pesticides in epidemiologic studies of cancer. Am Chem Soc Symp Ser. 382. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, pp 38–46Google Scholar
- Dick F, Van Lier S, Banks P, Frizzera G, Witrak G, Gibson R, Schuman L, Isacson P, O’Conor G, Cantor K, Blattner W, Blair A (1987) Use of the working formulation for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in epidemiologic studies: agreement between reported diagnoses and a panel of experimental pathologists. JNCI 78: 1137–1144PubMedGoogle Scholar
- EPA: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1985) Final report: applicator and mixer/loader exposure to pesticides during ground boom spraying operations. Versar, Springfield Va (EPA contract no 68–01–6271; task no 48)Google Scholar
- Eriksson M, Hardell L, Berg NO, Moller T, Axelson 0 (1981) Soft-tissue sarcoma and exposure to chemical substances: a case-referent study. Br J Ind Med 38: 27–33Google Scholar