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

University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States
American Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 5.23). 01/2006; 162(11):1070-9. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwi321
Source: PubMed


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.

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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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    ABSTRACT: This study describes associations of ozone and fine particulate matter with Parkinson's disease observed among farmers in North Carolina and Iowa. We used logistic regression to determine the associations of these pollutants with self-reported, doctor-diagnosed Parkinson's disease. Daily predicted pollutant concentrations were used to derive surrogates of long-term exposure and link them to study participants' geocoded addresses. We observed positive associations of Parkinson's disease with ozone (odds ratio = 1.39; 95% CI: 0.98 to 1.98) and fine particulate matter (odds ratio = 1.34; 95% CI: 0.93 to 1.93) in North Carolina but not in Iowa. The plausibility of an effect of ambient concentrations of these pollutants on Parkinson's disease risk is supported by experimental data demonstrating damage to dopaminergic neurons at relevant concentrations. Additional studies are needed to address uncertainties related to confounding and to examine temporal aspects of the associations we observed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
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    • "Recent studies cite a wide range of direct and indirect negative impacts of diazinon on aquatic biota, including dramatic reduction of zooplankton (Giddings et al. 1996); possible lethal effects on fish (Máchová et al. 2007; El-Sherif et al. 2009) and amphibians (Sparling and Fellers 2007); disruption of behavior patterns (Scholz et al. 2000); reduction in phytoplankton and periphyton (Relyea 2009); sublethal effects on olfactory functions (Moore and Waring 1996); changes in the erythocyte and leucocyte profile in fish probably due to the disruption of hematopoiesis or a decrease in non-specific immunity (Adedeji et al. 2009); cytotoxicity, endocrine disruption (Bisson and Hontela 2002); and indirect effects on growth and metamorphosis of tadpoles due to direct effects on zooplankton, phytoplankton, and periphyton (Relyea 2009). In addition, diazinon is listed as potentially carcinogenic (Beane Freeman et al. 2005). Crayfish, as representatives of large crustaceans, are ecologically important benthic macroinvertebrates, and are often key species in both still and running waters (Momot 1995). "
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    ABSTRACT: Diazinon is a widely applied agricultural pesticide whose effect importantly on the environment and the possible contamination of surface waters has led to increased interest in toxicological studies. Crayfish, as an ecologically important benthic macroinvertebrate, seems to be an appropriate model organism for such assessments. Acute toxicity tests were carried out on three crayfish age groups: young-of-the-year (total length = 25.0 ± 4.9 mm), juvenile (total length = 56.5 ± 3.8 mm) and adult (total length = 83.5 ± 5.7 mm). Young-of-the-year crayfish were found to be the most sensitive to diazinon (96 h LC50 = 0.15 mg L−1), followed by juvenile crayfish (96 h LC50 = 0.27 mg L−1), and adults (96 h LC50 = 0.51 mg L−1). Crayfish were highly sensitive to diazinon. A delayed effect of Diazinon 60EC on adults was detected (144 h LC50 = 0.44 mg L−1) suggests functional damage from the use of sublethal concentrations.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · International journal of Environmental Science and Technology
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    • "Seven of these 19 pesticides are no longer registered for use in Canada or the United States (chlordane, dieldrin, fonofos, heptachlor, lindane , methyl bromide, and toxaphene), and three additional pesticides, alachlor, aldicarb, and metolachlor, are registered for use in the United States but are not registered in Canada. Of the remaining pesticides currently registered for use in Canada or the United States, statistically significant exposure–response trends were observed for alachlor (all lymphohematopoietic ), aldicarb (colon), carbaryl (melanoma), chlorpyrifos (lung, rectal), diazinon (all cancers, all lympho hemato poietic, leukemia, lung), dicamba (colon, lung), EPTC (all cancers, colon, pancreas), imazethapyr (bladder, colon), metolachlor (lung), pendimethalin (lung, pancreas, rectal), permethrin (multiple myeloma), and tri fluralin (colon) (Alavanja et al. 2004; Andreotti et al. 2009; Beane Freeman et al. 2005; Hou et al. 2006; Kang et al. 2008; Koutros et al. 2009; Lee et al. 2004a, 2004b, 2007b; Mahajan et al. 2007; Rusiecki et al. 2006, 2009; Samanic et al. 2006; van Bemmel et al. 2008). These pesticides are listed in Table 2 along with animal toxicologic evidence of carcinogenicity noted by the U.S. EPA (2007), Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) (Health Canada 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008), and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: We reviewed epidemiologic evidence related to occupational pesticide exposures and cancer incidence in the Agricultural Health Study (AHS) cohort. Studies were identified from the AHS publication list available at as well as through a Medline/PubMed database search in March 2009. We also examined citation lists. Findings related to lifetime-days and/or intensity-weighted lifetime-days of pesticide use are the primary focus of this review, because these measures allow for the evaluation of potential exposure-response relationships. We reviewed 28 studies; most of the 32 pesticides examined were not strongly associated with cancer incidence in pesticide applicators. Increased rate ratios (or odds ratios) and positive exposure-response patterns were reported for 12 pesticides currently registered in Canada and/or the United States (alachlor, aldicarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, dicamba, S-ethyl-N,N-dipropylthiocarbamate, imazethapyr, metolachlor, pendimethalin, permethrin, trifluralin). However, estimates of association for specific cancers were often imprecise because of small numbers of exposed cases, and clear monotonic exposure-response patterns were not always apparent. Exposure misclassification is also a concern in the AHS and may limit the analysis of exposure-response patterns. Epidemiologic evidence outside the AHS remains limited with respect to most of the observed associations, but animal toxicity data support the biological plausibility of relationships observed for alachlor, carbaryl, metolachlor, pendimethalin, permethrin, and trifluralin. Continued follow-up is needed to clarify associations reported to date. In particular, further evaluation of registered pesticides is warranted.
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