Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Prostate cancer and ambient pesticide exposure in agriculturally intensive areas in California.

Authors: Cockburn, Myles; Mills, Paul; Zhang, Xinbo; Zadnick, John; Goldberg, Dan; Ritz, Beate

Published In Am J Epidemiol, (2011 Jun 1)

Abstract: In a population-based case-control study in California's intensely agricultural Central Valley (2005-2006), the authors investigated relations between environmental pesticide/fungicide exposure and prostate cancer. Cases (n = 173) were obtained from a population-based cancer registry, and controls (n = 162) were obtained from Medicare listings and tax assessor mailings. Past ambient exposures to pesticides/fungicides were derived from residential history and independently recorded pesticide and land-use data, using a novel geographic information systems approach. In comparison with unexposed persons, increased risks of prostate cancer were observed among persons exposed to compounds which may have prostate-specific biologic effects (methyl bromide (odds ratio = 1.62, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 2.59) and a group of organochlorines (odds ratio = 1.64, 95% confidence interval: 1.02, 2.63)) but not among those exposed to other compounds that were included as controls (simazine, maneb, and paraquat dichloride). The authors assessed the possibility of selection bias due to less-than-100% enrollment of eligible cases and controls (a critical methodological concern in studies of this kind) and determined that there was little evidence of bias affecting the estimated effect size. This study provides evidence of an association between prostate cancer and ambient pesticide exposures in and around homes in intensely agricultural areas. The associations appear specific to compounds with a plausible biologic role in prostate carcinogenesis.

PubMed ID: 21447478 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Age Factors; Agriculture*; California/epidemiology; Case-Control Studies; Environmental Exposure/adverse effects*; Fungicides, Industrial/toxicity; Humans; Male; Pesticides/toxicity*; Prostatic Neoplasms/chemically induced*; Prostatic Neoplasms/epidemiology; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Factors

to Top