A new study by the National Cancer Institute and the University of Kansas has linked exposure to herbicides with nonHodgkins lymphoma, lymphatic cancers besides Hodgkins disease. The study was based on the health histories of 948 male Kansas farmers who had cancer and an equal number of non- cancer victims for comparison.
The study points up 2,4-D as a cause of cancer; 2,4-D is found in many lawn-care products commonly used around suburban homes.
The study found that if farmers were exposed to herbicides 20 days a year or more, they were 600% more likely to contract lymphatic cancer than people who did not work with herbicides. The risk for farmers who came in actual contact, mixing or applying the chemicals, increased eightfold. Farmers who failed to use protective equipment such as gloves or masks while working with pesticides were 40% more likely to develop cancer than those who used protection.
The higher cancer risk was found to be particularly associated with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or 2,4-D,
a chemical compound used in a variety of herbicides. Agent Orange, the herbicide sprayed in Vietnam that
is the focus of lawsuits filed by exposed veterans, contains 2,4-D and an established link between cancer
and exposure to 2,4-D could have a profound effect on those lawsuits.
--Peter Montague, Ph.D.
Descriptor terms: lawsuits; ks; cancer; lymphatic cancer; herbicides; pesticides; nci; 2,4-d; 2,4- dichlorophenoxyacetic; agent orange; studies; national cancer institute; university of kansas;