Residential exposure to pesticides during childhood and childhood cancers

A new study has recently been published by researchers (Prof. Alex Lu) of the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (Boston) based on a meta-analysis of the existing observational epidemiologic studies concerning chronic low levels pesticide exposure during childhood and their influence on childhood cancers. This study observed positive associations between residential indoor insecticide exposures during childhood (the most vulnerable stage in life for immune, enzymatic and metabolic systems) and a significant increase in risk of childhood hematopoietic cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma as well as a weaker positive association between childhood herbicide exposure and leukemia.

The researchers indicated that further studies are needed to confirm this association and point out the importance of taking preventive actions in order to reduce children’s exposure to pesticides at home and mitigate the possible adverse health outcomes.

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