Results of a new study show workers who spray pesticides have double the risk of a blood disorder called Monoclonal Gammopathy of Undetermined Significance.
MGUS is characterized as abnormal levels of plasma protein that can lead to multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting the plasma cells in bone marrow.
Printed in the journalBlood, experts examined 678 men, ages 30 to 94, who apply pesticides, taking blood samples and having them fill out a questionnaire asking about pesticide exposure and application methods.
Researchers compared this data against a similar group from a large MGUS-screening study taken from the general population. The comparison revealed MGUS was 1.9 times more prevalent in pesticide workers older than 50.
Certain chemicals heightened risk more than others. The insecticide dieldrin increased MGUS risk 5.6 fold, while the fungicide chlorothalonil only raised risk 2.4 fold. Either way, scientists insist people should be more aware of the dangers.
Fortunately, most of us aren’t spraying pesticides, but to help safeguard yourself, try buying organic cherries, strawberries and peaches, these fruits are among the most contaminated.