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Exposure to pesticides raises myeloma risk

Exposure to pesticides raises myeloma risk

People who apply certain pesticides double their chance of developing multiple myeloma, compared with individuals in the general population. Data culled from a U.S. Agricultural Health Study found higher rates of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance in 678 individuals who applied certain pesticides, compared with a control population. MGUS is a precancerous condition that can lead to multiple myeloma (Blood 113:6386-6391, 2009).

The participants (median age 60) were farmers in Iowa and North Carolina who were licensed to apply restricted-use pesticides. The researchers found a significantly increased risk of MGUS among users of dieldrin (5.6-fold increase in risk), carbon-tetrachloride/carbon disulfide (3.9-fold increase in risk), and chlorothalonil (2.4-fold increase in risk).

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