Pesticides and cancer have become a part of everyday living. The overwhelming amount of chemicals present in the environment could make people agree that the world is indeed toxic. For many years, people have been using fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, and others to kill living things such as bugs and insects. Yet, they have also been known to cause various types of cancer.
Harmful chemicals everywhere
The use of these chemicals has become very common in every part of the world. You can see pesticides being used in many plantations, forests, parks, roads, schools, homes, buildings, and other places. This results to water and air being contaminated with chemicals hazardous to health.
Aside from being exposed to these chemicals in the surroundings, people can also be exposed to these harmful chemicals in the food they eat. Many of the food harvested or manufactured have high amounts of pesticide residue. From the fruits and vegetables to the meat and dairy products, certain levels of pesticide residues can be traced.
Apparently, toxic chemicals are found inside and outside of the body. This is very alarming. There are some, however, who are not really bothered by this information because pesticides have been promoted and marketed as beneficial. They are not aware of the links established between pesticides and cancer.
Types of cancer caused by pesticides
Whether herbicides, insecticides, or other toxic substances are used to kill unwanted pests, people cannot deny the fact that they also emit cancer-causing or carcinogenic compounds. A lot of researches have shown that the chemicals people use have strong links to the different types of cancer.
A study by scientists from Harvard University and University of Montreal revealed that a child may double the risk of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is particularly if highly exposed to pesticide residues found on fruits and vegetables. Many parents do not want that can affect the brain or mental heath of their children.
However, if insecticides are regularly used at home, they can cause the development of brain tumors. The risk becomes higher or lower depending on how frequent the household uses insecticides.
Many studies revealed that the dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is strongly linked to the development of breast cancer among women. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is also another compound found in organochlorine residues that can increase the risk of breast cancer development.
DDT and HCB are compounds usually found in different types of pesticides and cancer of the breast is a risk for those who use these pesticides. For example, insecticides used for lawns have significant amounts of DDT.
Urinary bladder cancer is common everywhere in the world. However, people from developed counties have higher chances of developing this type of cancer. Chemicals from an organochlorine pesticide are highly associated to bladder cancer and other types of cancer such as breast and prostate.
Plantation farmers in developed countries have higher risks of acquiring urinary bladder cancer. This could be due to the fact that they are regularly exposed to high amounts of organochlorine.
Pesticides and cancer of the breast are not the only concern. Other types of cancer that are highly associated with these substances include bone, cervical, colorectal, kidney, lip, mouth, pancreatic, liver, eye, blood, and larynx cancer.
There are several solutions to prevent the risks of pesticides and cancer. One is to stay away from places where there is regular use of chemicals. Another way is consume organically produced food.