Prostate cancer and ambient pesticide exposure in agriculturally intensive areas in California

Myles Cockburn, Paul Mills, Xinbo Zhang, John Zadnick, Dan Goldberg, Beate Ritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a population-based case-control study in California's intensely agricultural Central Valley (2005-2006), the authors investigated relations between environmental pesticide/fungicide exposure and prostate cancer. Cases (n = 173) were obtained from a population-based cancer registry, and controls (n = 162) were obtained from Medicare listings and tax assessor mailings. Past ambient exposures to pesticides/fungicides were derived from residential history and independently recorded pesticide and land-use data, using a novel geographic information systems approach. In comparison with unexposed persons, increased risks of prostate cancer were observed among persons exposed to compounds which may have prostate-specific biologic effects (methyl bromide (odds ratio = 1.62, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 2.59) and a group of organochlorines (odds ratio = 1.64, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 2.63)) but not among those exposed to other compounds that were included as controls (simazine, maneb, and paraquat dichloride). The authors assessed the possibility of selection bias due to less-than-100% enrollment of eligible cases and controls (a critical methodological concern in studies of this kind) and determined that there was little evidence of bias affecting the estimated effect size. This study provides evidence of an association between prostate cancer and ambient pesticide exposures in and around homes in intensely agricultural areas. The associations appear specific to compounds with a plausible biologic role in prostate carcinogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1280-1288
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Volume173
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • fungicides, industrial
  • hydrocarbons, brominated
  • pesticides
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • selection bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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