Objectives Previous studies have noted associations between specific pesticides and multiple cancer types. However, assessments for many pesticides have been limited by small numbers of exposed cases. To address this, we established the North American Pooled Project (NAPP), a collaborative effort to evaluate the relationship of pesticide and agricultural exposures to risks of lymphohematopoietic cancers and sarcoma.
Method We harmonised previously collected data from three population-based case-control studies conducted in four American states with a similar Canada-wide study conducted in six provinces. Descriptive analyses of pesticide exposures, personal protective equipment (PPE) use, and demographic data were completed. The prevalence of self-reported pesticide use among cases and controls was determined for specific agents and chemical classes.
Results The NAPP includes 5131 controls and 3274 cases (non-Hodgkin lymphoma [NHL] N=1690; Hodgkin lymphoma [HL] N=507; multiple myeloma [MM] N=587; soft tissue sarcoma N=490). Preliminary descriptive analyses indicate that approximately two-thirds of controls and NHL and MM cases ever lived or worked on a farm or ranch. Nearly half of controls and half of NHL, HL, and MM cases reported using any pesticide. Over 120 different insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides were reported. More than 17% of participants reported using the phenoxy herbicide 2,4-D and over 5% reported DDT, malathion, atrazine, or glyphosate. Around 6% of NHL cases and controls reported ever using PPE.
Conclusions The large number of cases and controls and high frequency of pesticide use in the NAPP will allow us to evaluate less commonly used pesticides, cancer sub-types, and smaller relative risks than previously possible.
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