Cancer, weed-killers linked

Year Published:  1989
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3659

The more weed-killer farmers use, the greater their risk of dying from a cancer of the immune system, a federal study has found. The study examined 70,000 Saskatchewan farmers and found that the risk of death "goes up regularly with acres sprayed", according to Dr. Donald Wigle, an epidemiologist with Health and Welfare Canada. The study also found that the risk of dying goes up with the amount of gasoline, oil, and other fuel a farmer used. Saskatchewan was chosen for the study because it has the highest rate of use of 2,4-D and other herbicides in Canada. The study's conclusions are considered preliminary, but coupled with other studies in Sweden and the U.S., they seem to point to a link between pesticide use and cancer risk.

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