Journal Article

Cancer Incidence among Male Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study Cohort Exposed to Diazinon

Laura E. Beane Freeman, Matthew R. Bonner, Aaron Blair, Jane A. Hoppin, Dale P. Sandler, Jay H. Lubin, Mustafa Dosemeci, Charles F. Lynch, Charles Knott and Michael C. R. Alavanja

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 162, issue 11, pages 1070-1079
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Cancer Incidence among Male Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Health Study Cohort Exposed to Diazinon

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Little is known about the potential carcinogenicity associated with routine application of diazinon, a common organophosphate insecticide. The authors explored a possible association of diazinon exposure with cancer risk in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort of licensed pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina enrolled in 1993–1997. A total of 23,106 male applicators provided information in a self-administered questionnaire. Among 4,961 applicators who reported using diazinon, 301 incident cancer cases were diagnosed during the follow-up period ending December 2002 compared with 968 cases among 18,145 participants who reported no use. Poisson regression was used to calculate rate ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Two quantitative exposure metrics were used: lifetime exposure days and intensity-weighted lifetime exposure days, a measure that incorporates probability of pesticide exposure with lifetime pesticide application frequency. When lifetime exposure days were used, increased risks for the highest tertile of exposure and significant tests for trend for lung cancer and leukemia were observed. No other cancer site showed an association with diazinon for the highest tertile of exposure. Because these results were based on small numbers, additional analyses are necessary as more cases accrue to clarify whether diazinon is associated with cancer risk in humans.

Keywords: cohort studies; diazinon; insecticides; neoplasms; pesticides; CI, confidence interval; EPA, Environmental Protection Agency; RR, rate ratio

Journal Article.  5319 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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