No link between increased pesticide use and childhood cancer, study suggests

Image Credit: Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Like the word “chemical,” the word “pesticide” has been hijacked and then unfairly demonized.

Scientists use the word pesticide to refer to “any chemical, generally used in an agricultural setting, that can be used to kill another unwanted organism.”

Society uses the word pesticide pejoratively, assuming that anything that can kill another organism can also kill humans. This is almost never true. It is biologically impossible for some pesticides, such as Bt toxin, to harm humans. And the pesticides that can harm humans are used at such low concentrations that their presence has no effect on us.

Despite this, the word pesticide continues to carry a lot of negative emotional baggage. It’s little wonder, therefore, that pesticides have been blamed (usually incorrectly) for all sorts of problems …. Nothing is more emotionally charged than pediatric cancer, and pesticides have been blamed for that, too ….

Related article:  Delving into the GMO traits that cut back pesticide impacts globally

A new study  …. examined the incidence of pediatric cancer from 1991 to 2010 ….  [ and found that] pesticides probably don’t cause pediatric cancer. [I]f pesticides cause pediatric cancer, then countries that use more pesticides should have more cases of pediatric cancer. But they don’t.

Read full, original article: Increase In Childhood Cancer Is Not Due To Pesticide

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