CIRCLE Project Leader, Xiaomei Ma, demonstrated that residential pesticide use was associated with an increased risk for childhood leukemia in the California Childhood Leukemia Study population.

Pesticides and Childhood Leukemia

Dr. Ma examined the role of household pesticide exposures in child leukemia.  Her findings suggest that exposure to household pesticides at an early age is associated with an elevated risk of childhood leukemia.  Her analysis included interviews of 162 patients (0-14 years old) with newly diagnosed leukemia and 162 healthy control participants. The analysis considered the pesticide type (e.g., insecticides), timing of application (e.g., during pregnancy), frequency of application (e.g., once), location of application (e.g., indoors), and the applicator (e.g., professional).  The use of professional pest control services at any time — from 1 year before birth to 3 years after — was associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia. Residential insecticide use was associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia, especially when insecticides were used during pregnancy.  Additionally, more frequent exposure to insecticides was associated with a higher risk. Exposure to pesticides applied indoors appeared to be more harmful than exposure to pesticides applied outdoors.  The full article is available here.

Exposure to residential pesticide use is associated with childhood leukemia

Pesticides in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

The above findings were confirmed in a pooled analysis conducted as part of the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium.  In the pooled analysis, professional pest control treatments and residential insecticide treatments were both associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia.  Moreover, a child whose father was exposed to pesticides at work before birth was at a greater risk of developing leukemia than a child whose father had no occupational exposure to pesticides.  The full article is available here.

Risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) associated with exposure to pesticides in a pooled analysis conducted by the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

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