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Household pesticides linked to childhood leukemia

By Kathlyn Stone     Aug 30, 2009 in Science
Other studies have found a correlation between household pesticide use and leukemia. In this study, scientists analyzed the urine of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and found a higher concentration of pesticides compared with healthy controls.
Researchers found higher levels of common household pesticides in the urine of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, according to a report published in the August issue of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer of the white blood cells – the infection fighters – and develops most frequently in children between the ages of three and seven. It is the most common type of leukemia in children under age 15, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. obtained urine samples from 41 children with ALL and their mothers in the Washington area and compared them with 41 pairs of healthy children and mothers. The children with ALL and their mothers had higher concentrations of diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP), two pesticides used in household chemicals.
While the investigators caution that the research doesn’t prove that household pesticides with DETP and DEDTP cause ALL, they said the higher concentrations of the chemicals in the children with ALL and their mothers point to a likely health hazard and that more research should be conducted.
“We shouldn’t assume that pesticides caused these cancers, but our findings certainly support the need for more robust research in this area,” said lead researcher Offie Soldin, PhD, an epidemiologist at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown.
More about Leukemia, Pesticides, Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
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