Children with leukemia have been found to have higher levels of household pesticides in their body, according to a study published in the US.
Researchers from the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Centre studied 41 pairs of children with ALL (acute lymphoblastic leukemia) and their mothers. They also tested 41 pairs of healthy children and mothers.
Common household pesticides were found in the urine of more than half of the participants but were higher in the children with leukemia.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a cancer that develops most commonly between three and seven years of age.
'We know pesticides – sprays, strips, or ‘bombs,’ are found in at least 85 percent of households, but obviously not all the children in these homes develop cancer,' said study author Offie Soldin.
'Future research would help us understand the exact role of pesticides in the development of cancer. We hypothesise that pre-natal exposure coupled with genetic susceptibility or an additional environmental insult after birth could be to blame,' she said.
Meanwhile, UK pesticides campaigner Georgina Downs has confirmed she will be applying to the newly created Supreme Court (taking over the functions of the House of Lords) in the next few weeks in a bid to overturn a recent ruling on pesticide use by farmers.
Earlier this month, the court of appeal had overturned a high court ruling that the current regulations on pesticide were 'failing to protect rural communities from toxic spraying'.
Downs now hopes to get permission to in turn appeal this verdict. A decision would be expected later this autumn.