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Occupational exposure to pesticides and lymphoid neoplasms among men: results of a French case-control study
  1. L Orsi1,2,
  2. L Delabre3,
  3. A Monnereau1,2,4,5,6,
  4. P Delval7,
  5. C Berthou8,
  6. P Fenaux9,10,
  7. G Marit5,11,
  8. P Soubeyran4,5,
  9. F Huguet12,
  10. N Milpied5,11,
  11. M Leporrier13,
  12. D Hemon1,2,
  13. X Troussard14,
  14. J Clavel1,2
  1. 1
    INSERM, Villejuif, France
  2. 2
    Paris-Sud University, Villejuif, France
  3. 3
    Occupational Health Department, French Institute for Public Health, Saint-Maurice, France
  4. 4
    Bergonié Institute, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Bordeaux, France
  5. 5
    Bordeaux 2 University, Bordeaux, France
  6. 6
    Hematological Malignancies Registry of Gironde, Bordeaux, France
  7. 7
    ACTA, Marcy l’Etoile, France
  8. 8
    Department of Haematology, Morvan Hospital, Brest, France
  9. 9
    Department of Haematology, Avicenne Hospital, Bobigny, France
  10. 10
    Paris 13 University, Bobigny, France
  11. 11
    Department of Haematology, Haut-Lévêque Hospital, Pessac, France
  12. 12
    Department of Haematology, Purpan Hospital, Toulouse, France
  13. 13
    Laboratory of Clinical Haematology, Clemenceau Hospital, Caen, France
  14. 14
    Laboratory of Haematology, Côte de Nacre Hospital, Caen, France
  1. Laurent Orsi, Inserm U754, 16 av. Paul Vaillant-Couturier, F-94807 Villejuif Cedex; Paris-Sud University, UMR-S754, IFR69, F-94800 Villejuif, France; laurent.orsi{at}


Objectives: Investigating the relationship between occupational exposure to pesticides and the risk of lymphoid neoplasms (LNs) in men.

Methods: A hospital-based case-control study was conducted in six centres in France between 2000 and 2004. The cases were incident cases with a diagnosis of LN aged 18–75 years. During the same period, controls of the same age and sex as the cases were recruited in the same hospital, mainly in the orthopaedic and rheumatological departments. Exposures to pesticides were evaluated through specific interviews and case-by-case expert reviews. Four hundred and ninety-one cases (244 cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), 87 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), 104 of lymphoproliferative syndromes (LPSs) and 56 of multiple myeloma (MM) cases) and 456 controls were included in the analyses. The odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI were estimated using unconditional logistic regressions.

Results: Positive associations between HL and occupational exposure to triazole fungicides and urea herbicides were observed (OR = 8.4 (2.2 to 32.4), 10.8 (2.4 to 48.1), respectively). Exposure to insecticides, fungicides and herbicides were linked to a threefold increase in MM risk (OR = 2.8 (1.2 to 6.5), 3.2 (1.4 to 7.2), 2.9 (1.3 to 6.5)). For LPS subtypes, associations restricted to hairy-cell leukaemia (HCL) were evidenced for exposure to organochlorine insecticides, phenoxy herbicides and triazine herbicides (OR = 4.9 (1.1 to 21.2), 4.1 (1.1 to 15.5), 5.1 (1.4 to 19.3)), although based on small numbers. Lastly, despite the increased ORs for organochlorine and organophosphate insecticides, carbamate fungicides and triazine herbicides, no significant associations were evidenced for NHL.

Conclusions: The results, based on case-by-case expert review of occupation-specific questionnaires, support the hypothesis that occupational pesticide exposures may be involved in HL, MM and HCL and do not rule out a role in NHL. The analyses identified specific pesticides that deserve further investigation and the findings were consistent with those of previous studies.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This work was supported by grants from the Association pour la Recherche contre le Cancer, the Fondation de France, and AFSSET, and a donation from Faberge employees.

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