US pesticide study sounds alarm

Issue 

US pesticide study sounds alarm

Washington, D.C. — A study published on February 27 in the American Journal of Public Health, which finds elevated rates of cancer in children exposed to pesticides, raises yet again the serious and overdue need for stronger restrictions on pesticides, according to a national consumer and environmental advocacy group, the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP).

"Home Pesticide Use and Childhood Cancer: A Case-Control Study" finds that children in homes with gardens treated with pesticides suffer a four-fold increase in soft tissue sarcomas. Other types of cancer associated with home extermination or the use of pest strips include brain tumours, lymphomas and leukemia and are shown to be elevated in the study.

"The findings confirm numerous previous studies and affirm loudly the need for immediate action to stop the unnecessary use of pesticides and replace them with safer alternative strategies", said Jay Feldman, executive director of NCAMP. "Children are especially vulnerable to pesticides, and current regulatory standards are in need of dramatic improvement to ensure their adequate protection."

The study was released as Congress was about to begin debate on proposed legislation to repeal the Delaney Clause, a standard in food safety law which prohibits cancer-causing pesticides that concentrate in processed food. The legislation is opposed by NCAMP and environmental groups.

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