A US study compared 668 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (a relatively common type of lymph cancer) sufferers with 543 people without the
disease, analysing their employment history to assess their occupational exposure to pesticides. The analysis revealed that asthmatics were almost twice as likely to develop NHL after exposure to pesticides than non-asthmatics.
Asthmatics who had been hospitalised for their condition, and were therefore likely to be more severely affected, were more than twice as likely to develop NHL after pesticide exposure. Previous studies had already shown that people who have been exposed to pesticides are more likely to develop NHL and are more likely to have disorders of the immune system such as asthma.
Lee WJ, Purdue MP, Stewart P et al. Asthma history, occupational exposure to pesticides. Int. Journal of Cancer 2006, 118:3174-3176
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First Published in January 2007