Pesticide use associated with thyroid cancer in women

Photo credit: Yale Rosen Photo credit: Yale Rosen

A recent study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine  has found that the application of certain pesticides such as dicamba, atrazine, and metolachlor (all suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals) is associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer in women. The study gathered data from 31,055 female spouses in The Agricultural Health Study (AHS)—a study that follows more than 89,000 farmers and their spouses in Iowa and North Carolina since 1993—to better understand how agricultural work affects the health of farmers. Just more than half of the women participating in the study reported using pesticides in the past. The use of dicamba significantly increased the risk of thyroid cancer while atrazine and metolachlor resulted in an increased but statistically insignificant increase in thyroid cancer risk. “This study represents the first comprehensive prospective analysis of specific pesticide ingredients and thyroid cancer risk among women; as such, our findings warrant further evaluation,” the authors conclude.