Garden insecticides may increase leukaemia risk
Jan 18, 2006, 00:22

Household insecticides may increase the risk of leukemia, says a new study, reinforcing the theory that pesticide exposure may play a role in childhood acute leukaemia.

Florence Menegaux and other researchers of Inserm Medical Research Institute in France studied 568 children, half of whom had acute leukaemia. They asked them about employment history of both parents and the use of insecticides in their homes and gardens.

They found use of home insecticides during pregnancy and childhood increased the risk of leukaemia by nearly twice, reported online edition of BBC News. A similar risk was also seen for the use of insecticidal shampoo to treat head lice.

Use of garden insecticides was linked to a 2.4-fold increase in risk and fungicide to a 2.5-fold increase, the researchers say.

It was still not possible to say for definite that insecticide use caused leukaemia and it was unclear what agent in it was potentially dangerous, Menegaux said.

She added: "The consistency of our results and the results from previous studies suggests that it may be opportune to consider preventative action."

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