Article

Fonofos Exposure and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland 20852, USA.
Environmental Health Perspectives (Impact Factor: 7.98). 01/2007; 114(12):1838-42. DOI: 10.1289/ehp.9301
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is a prospective cohort study of licensed pesticide applicators from Iowa and North Carolina enrolled 1993-1997 and followed for incident cancer through 2002. A previous investigation in this cohort linked exposure to the organophosphate fonofos with incident prostate cancer in subjects with family history of prostate cancer.
This finding along with findings of associations between organophosphate pesticides and cancer more broadly led to this study of fonofos and risk of any cancers among 45,372 pesticide applicators enrolled in the AHS.
Pesticide exposure and other data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Poisson regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) while controlling for potential confounders.
Relative to the unexposed, leukemia risk was elevated in the highest category of lifetime (RR = 2.24; 95% CI, 0.94-5.34, Ptrend = 0.07) and intensity-weighted exposure-days (RR = 2.67; 95% CI, 1.06-6.70, Ptrend = 0.04), a measure that takes into account factors that modify pesticide exposure. Although prostate cancer risk was unrelated to fonofos use overall, among applicators with a family history of prostate cancer, we observed a significant dose-response trend for lifetime exposure-days (Ptrend = 0.02, RR highest tertile vs. unexposed = 1.77, 95% CI, 1.03-3.05; RRinteraction = 1.28, 95% CI, 1.07-1.54). Intensity-weighted results were similar. No associations were observed with other examined cancer sites.
Further study is warranted to confirm findings with respect to leukemia and determine whether genetic susceptibility modifies prostate cancer risk from pesticide exposure.

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Available from: Michael C Alavanja
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    • "Findings for pesticides and other agricultural exposures and cancer include several aspects of prostate cancer (family history, aggressive prostate cancer, genetic polymorphisms) [Alavanja et al., 2003; Koutros et al., 2011 Koutros et al., , 2013, contact with farm animals [Beane et al., 2012], monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, telomere length [Hou et al., 2013], and childhood cancer among children of pesticide applicators [Flower et al., 2004]. Many individual pesticides have been evaluated for cancer risk in human studies, some for the first time in the AHS, including atrazine, glyphosate [De Roos et al., 2005], diazinon [Beane et al., 2005], pendimethalin, metolachlor, dicamba, fonofos [Mahajan et al., 2006], organochlorine pesticides [Purdue et al., 2007], malathion [Bonner et al., 2007], dichlorvos [Koutros et al., 2008], permethrin [Rusiecki et al., 2009], metribuzin [Delancey et al., 2009], coumaphos [Christensen et al., 2010], and terbufos [Bonner et al., 2010]. "
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    • "Findings for pesticides and other agricultural exposures and cancer include several aspects of prostate cancer (family history, aggressive prostate cancer, genetic polymorphisms) [Alavanja et al., 2003; Koutros et al., 2011, 2013], contact with farm animals [Beane et al., 2012], monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance [Landgren et al., 2009], telomere length [Hou et al., 2013], and childhood cancer among children of pesticide applicators [Flower et al., 2004]. Many individual pesticides have been evaluated for cancer risk in human studies, some for the first time in the AHS, including atrazine [Beane et al., 2011], glyphosate [De Roos et al., 2005], diazinon [Beane et al., 2005], pendimethalin [Hou et al., 2006], metolachlor [Rusiecki et al., 2006], dicamba [Samanic et al., 2006], fonofos [Mahajan et al., 2006], organochlorine pesticides [Purdue et al., 2007], malathion [Bonner et al., 2007], dichlorvos [Koutros et al., 2008], permethrin [Rusiecki et al., 2009], metribuzin [Delancey et al., 2009], coumaphos [Christensen et al., 2010], and terbufos [Bonner et al., 2010]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prospective cohorts have played a major role in understanding the contribution of diet, physical activity, medical conditions, and genes to the development of many diseases, but have not been widely used for occupational exposures. Studies in agriculture are an exception. We draw upon our experience using this design to study agricultural workers to identify conditions that might foster use of prospective cohorts to study other occupational settings. Prospective cohort studies are perceived by many as the strongest epidemiologic design. It allows updating of information on exposure and other factors, collection of biologic samples before disease diagnosis for biomarker studies, assessment of effect modification by genes, lifestyle, and other occupational exposures, and evaluation of a wide range of health outcomes. Increased use of prospective cohorts would be beneficial in identifying hazardous exposures in the workplace. Occupational epidemiologists should seek opportunities to initiate prospective cohorts to investigate high priority, occupational exposures. Am. J. Ind. Med. 58:113–122, 2015.
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    • "In the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), a significant excess of prostate cancer was observed among private and commercial pesticide applicators compared to the general population [3] [4]. Also, use of pesticides, such as phorate [5], fonofos [6], butylate [7], and coumaphos [8], has been linked with an increased risk of prostate cancer among AHS participants with a family history of prostate cancer. We conducted a prostate cancer nested case-control study within the AHS to examine interactions between prespecified genetic pathways and pesticide exposure. "
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