ABSTRACT: Pesticides and mortality from hormone-dependent cancers
Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are considered to be a possible
cause of hormone-dependent cancers. In areas of high exposure
to pesticides, people are concerned about the long lasting toxicity
of pesticides, some of which are possibly hormonally active.
We collected for each Belgian municipality (n = 589) the latest
mortality statistics from breast and prostate cancer (period
1985-1994) and the latest data on crops and pesticides (1998).
In addition, data on possible confounders such as population
density, degree of urbanization, industrial activity and the
presence of an incinerator were collected as well.
The data were
analysed with spatial statistics that takes into account the
spatial nature of the data. There is a large variation in crops
and pesticide exposure among the municipalities, the highest
exposure being seen in the fruit production area.
use of defoliants and potato cultivation, no consistent correlation
was detected between crops, pesticides and mortality from breast
and prostate cancer.
Our data cannot support the hypothesis of
a relationship between total and class-related pesticide use
and breast and prostate cancer mortality.
However, the increased
mortality due to breast cancer and to a lesser extent due to
prostate cancer in traditional potato-growing areas needs attention
and more research.
[01/14/2002; European Journal of Cancer Prevention]
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