Researchers from the Liverpool University have said that people should not unnecessarily panic over the frequent claims of pesticides causing cancer. The study, which appears in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, said that it was most probably, children and the very elderly who were at risk from pesticides.
The researchers reviewed over 300 studies on the effects of organochlorines, contained in pesticides and some plastics, which could find their way into the human body through drinking water, eating meat and dairy products. These toxic materials are thought to alter the balance of hormone production and influence in the development of breast cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer. "For humans the main source of organochlorine exposure is from diet, primarily through meat and dairy products. Children are exposed to dioxin, a by-product of organochlorines, through food," said Professor Vyvyan Howard, one of the authors of the research. "Breastfed infants can be exposed to organochlorines that have accumulated in breast milk. Preventative measures for these types of cancer have focused on educating the public about the danger of tobacco smoke, improving diet and promoting physical activity." He added that the focus should now shift on preventive methods. But Professor John Toy, Cancer Research UK medical director said that the study did not reveal anything new and therefore people should not be alarmed by it, "It is a review of previously reported research and does not present new findings," he said. "The authors suggest that it is feasible that certain chemicals could be a factor in causing cancer but do not find compelling scientific evidence to prove a link."