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Study shows link between pesticides and lymphoma

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A newly published study has found that children exposed to pesticides in the home may be three to seven times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), compared to unexposed children.

The authors of the report in the December 1 issue of the journal Cancer caution that the number of children in the study was small, and that more research with larger groups is needed.

The study was conducted by researchers from hospitals and universities across the United States, in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute. They looked at 268 cases of NHL in children, from February 1986 to June 1990.

In a telephone survey, the researchers questioned the children's parents about a number of issues, including their pesticide use. From the answers, the study found that children exposed to household and professional extermination pesticides are three to seven times more likely to develop NHL.

The study also indicated that a child's NHL risk is similar for both maternal exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and direct exposure after birth. The study could not determine if any particular chemical might be to blame for the illness.

Dr. Michael Thun with the American Cancer Society questioned the design of the study and said it may not resolve the question of a link between pesticides and NHL. Thun said that by obtaining information about exposure after the cancer was already present, the data may be skewed.



RELATED STORIES:
Environment more important than heredity to cancer risk, study suggests
July 13, 2000
EPA bans home, garden use of pesticide Dursban
June 8, 2000

RELATED SITES:
American Cancer Society: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Lymphoma Information Network
CancerNet: Childhood Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
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