Carbaryl exposure and incident cancer in the Agricultural Health Study.

Carbaryl is a carbamate insecticide with a broad spectrum of uses in agricultural, commercial and household settings. It has previously been linked with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) but studies of cancer risk in humans are limited. We examined occupational carbaryl use and risk of all cancers in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective study of a cohort of pesticide applicators in North Carolina and Iowa. This analysis included 21,416 subjects (1,291 cases) enrolled from 1993-1997 and followed for cancer incidence through 2003. 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. Carbaryl was not associated with cancer risk overall. Relative to subjects who never used carbaryl, melanoma risk was elevated with >175 lifetime exposure-days (RR = 4.11; 95%CI, 1.33-12.75; p-trend = 0.07), >10 years of use (RR = 3.19; 95%CI, 1.28-7.92; p-trend = 0.04), or >or=10 days of use per year (RR = 5.50; 95%CI, 2.19-13.84; p-trend < 0.001). Risk remained after adjusting for sunlight exposure. Although not significant, there appeared to be a trend of decreasing prostate cancer risk with increasing level of exposure. A small increase in NHL risk was observed using some, but not all, exposure measures. No associations were observed with other examined cancer sites. Because the observed results were not hypothesized a priori and because of limited study of their biological plausibility, they should be interpreted with caution.
AuthorsRajeev Mahajan, Aaron Blair, Joseph Coble, Charles F Lynch, Jane A Hoppin, Dale P Sandler, Michael C R Alavanja
JournalInternational journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer (Int J Cancer) Vol. 121 Issue 8 Pg. 1799-805 (Oct 15 2007) ISSN: 0020-7136 [Print] United States
PMID17534892 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural)
Copyright(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Chemical References
  • Insecticides
  • Carbaryl
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbaryl (toxicity)
  • Confounding Factors (Epidemiology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insecticides (toxicity)
  • Iowa (epidemiology)
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin (epidemiology)
  • Male
  • Melanoma (epidemiology)
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms (chemically induced, epidemiology)
  • North Carolina (epidemiology)
  • Occupational Diseases (chemically induced, epidemiology)
  • Occupational Exposure (adverse effects)
  • Odds Ratio
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms (epidemiology)
  • Skin Neoplasms (epidemiology)

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