Fly spray linked to childhood brain tumours
Pregnant women may be wise to swap fly spray for a simple swat, with new research showing a link between insecticides and childhood brain tumours.
It is unclear how much exposure is too much and which chemicals pose the greatest danger, but the researchers say their findings add weight to the argument that expectant mothers should be advised to limit their exposure.
The latest results are consistent with previous smaller studies.
The analysis included 437 malignant childhood brain tumour cases and 3102 controls from two French studies.
Pesticide use was associated with a 1.4-times increased risk of childhood brain tumours.
The investigators note that many pesticide compounds are classified as probable carcinogens.
“There is evidence that some insecticides such as carbamate (propoxur) and organophosphate (chlorpyrifos and diazinon) can pass through the feto-placental barrier,” they write in the International Journal of Cancer.
Fetuses and young children may be especially vulnerable “because of their immature nervous systems and rapidly dividing cells”, they say.
Further exploration of childhood brain tumour dose response would further the understanding of the biological mechanisms.
In the meantime, they suggest women limit their exposure to pesticides around the time of pregnancy.
You can access the study here.