Agricultural exposures and gastric cancer risk in Hispanic farm workers in California
Previous studies have indicated that farm workers may be at increased risk of gastric cancer. Meta-analyses, ecological, case-control, and cohort studies suggest that some aspects of the agricultural environment may be implicated in the elevated risk. Hispanic farm workers in California are exposed to a multitude of potentially toxic substances in the work site, including excessive sunlight, fertilizers, diesel fumes, and pesticides. A previous analysis of a cohort of California farm workers who had been members of a farm labor union, the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) found a proportionate cancer incidence ratio for stomach cancer of 1.69 when using the California Hispanic population as the standard. The aim of the current study was to further evaluate associations between gastric cancer and the types of crops and commodities UFW members cultivate and the associated pesticide use as recorded by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR).