ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING PESTICIDES: A LEADING CAUSE OF CANCER AMONG RURAL PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN

Ejaz Sohail, Waseem Akram, Lim Chae Woong, Lee Jong Jin, Hussain Imtiaz

Evidence on the relationship between cancer and occupational exposure to pesticides and endocrine disrupting chemicals is reviewed. In animal studies it has been proved that majority of endocrine disrupting pesticides are carcinogenic. In humans, pesticides have been classified as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Farmers may therefore be at higher risk for acute and chronic health effects associated with pesticides. Human data, however, are limited by the small number of studies that evaluate individual endocrine disrupting pesticide. Cancer of the breast, ovary, prostate, testis, and thyroid are hormone-dependent, which fostered research on the potential risk associated with occupational and environmental exposure to the so-called endocrine-disrupting pesticides. Professional as well as public exposure to pesticides raises cancer risk. Interaction with adjuvant and with other toxicants increases the actual risk. On the other hand, organochlorine pesticides and triazine herbicides require further investigation for a possible etiologic role in some hormone-dependent cancers.

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