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Pesticide may be linked to lung cancer

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BETHESDA, Md., Nov 30, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. study of pesticide applicators has found that exposure to chlorpyrifos may be associated with an increased incidence of lung cancer.

However, study leader Michael C. R. Alavanja, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., said more studies are needed.

Alavanja analyzed data from the Agricultural Health Study, which looked at more than 54,000 pesticide applicators from Iowa and North Carolina. For most cancers analyzed, they found no evidence of a relationship with exposure to chlorpyrifos, however, individuals with the highest lifetime exposure-days had more than twice the risk of lung cancer compared with those with no chlorpyrifos exposure.

About 8 million to 10 million pounds of chlorpyrifos, an insecticide, were used in the U.S. agricultural sector in 1999 and the chemical is found in approximately 800 products, which are used for a variety of purposes, including pest control of food crops, indoor pest control, and pet collars.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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