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Farmers at higher risk of developing various cancers caused by pesticide exposure


(NaturalNews) A wide variety of chemical sprays have been used by the agricultural industry for the last several decades. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and disinfectants are all things that mainstream farmers have come to rely on to keep their crops "healthy" – or at least that is what they've been led to believe they're doing.

This array of poisons is used to kill off anything and everything that may interfere with the growth of crops or impair their yields. Pesticides ward off and kill anything that can be classified as a pest, herbicides kill weeds, insecticides kill bugs, fungicides kill fungus, and disinfectants are used to kill off bacteria that may harm the plants. But if these chemicals can do so much damage, why are we not more concerned about how much damage they are doing to us, and the environment?

At least 70 popular pesticides have been indicated as probable or possible carcinogens. Due to their vast and widespread use, pesticide residue can be found just about anywhere. In addition to being found on the food we eat, traces of pesticides are often found in homes, schools and hospitals – really just about everywhere. These poisons have surrounded us, and there is no telling how much we are actually exposed to in our day-to-day lives. However, the people most at risk from pesticide use are those who are actually using them the most: the farmers. Our farmers are exposed to more of these toxic chemicals than anyone else.

A collaborative effort led by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, known as the Agricultural Health Study, sought to ascertain the health risks for farmers. Researchers wanted to determine if farmers were at an increased risk of cancer or other health conditions as a result of their increased exposure to a variety of toxic pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

The Truth About Cancer reports that the researchers found that the farmers had lower incidences of some health conditions, but this was largely attributed to their more active lifestyles, healthier diets and lower rates of smoking. Farmers had lower death rates from heart disease, lung cancer, colon cancer and bladder cancer when compared to the general population. However, this was attributed to the farmers' overall healthier lifestyles when compared to the average American.

What is more telling, however, is the fact that the farmers had an increased incidence of many other cancers – cancers that are not predominantly tied to diet and tobacco use, as are colon and lung cancers. Farmers had a much higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma and soft tissue sarcoma. They also had higher rates of brain cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer and skin cancer. These cancers were all associated with work-related exposure to toxins. In addition to cancer, use of rotenone and paraquat also lead to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Organochlorine chemicals have also been found to increase the risk of diabetes and thyroid disease.

The Agricultural Health Study began in 1993 and is still in progress.

Pesticide Action Network North America also reports that farmers and pesticide applicators have a higher risk of prostate cancer, while women who work with pesticides are more likely to suffer from ovarian cancer. Higher skin cancer rates are often also seen in women and cropduster pilots.

It is becoming increasingly evident that pesticides are far more toxic than Big Ag wants us to believe. People are getting sicker every year, but very little research is being done on what is actually causing these illnesses. Instead of trying to find and eliminate the cause, the powers that be are focused on how to make money off sick people.

If these are the kinds of results that government-funded studies have found, what will independent science, the kind that is free from corruption and industry influence, eventually reveal?





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