Record Details

Title Risk of childhood cancer associated with residence in agriculturally intense areas of the United States
Author Carozza, SE
Secondary Authors Li B, Elgethun K, Whitworth R
Publication Type (Help) article
Journal Environ Health Perspect
Month Apr
Year 2008
Pages 559-65
Volume 116
Number 4
Note doi: 10.1289/ehp.9967
PubMed ID 18414643
EPub Date
Citation Carozza SE, Li B, Elgethun K, Whitworth R. Risk of childhood cancer associated with residence in agriculturally intense areas of the United States. Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Apr;116(4):559-65. PMID 18414643. []


The potential for widespread exposure to agricultural pesticides through drift during application raises concerns about possible health effects to exposed children living in areas of high agricultural activity. We evaluated whether residence in a county with greater agricultural activity was associated with risk of developing cancer in children <15 years of age. Incidence data for U.S. children 0-14 years of age diagnosed with cancer between 1995 and 2001 were provided by member registries of NAACCR. The authors determined percent cropland for each county using agricultural census data and used the overall study distribution to classify agriculturally intense counties. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated for all ages and 5-year age groups for total cancers and selected cancer sites using logistic regression. Results showed statistically significant increased risk estimates for many types of childhood cancers associated with residence at diagnosis in counties having a moderate to high level of agricultural activity, with a remarkably consistent dose-response effect seen for counties having >/= 60% of the total county acreage devoted to farming. Risk for different cancers varied by type of crop. Although interpretation is limited by the ecologic design, in this study the authors were able to evaluate rarer childhood cancers across a diverse agricultural topography. The findings of this exploratory study support a continued interest in the possible impact of long-term, low-level pesticide exposure in communities located in agriculturally intense areas.


united states