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Cancer of the white blood cells, most commonly diagnosed as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, accounts for 90% of all lymphomas. It is the second most common cancer in the U.S.

Closely associated with lymphoma are chlorinated organic solvents, including chlorophenols, dioxins, PCBs, DDT, and the phenoxy herbicides,” e.g. 2,4,5-T, and 2,4-D which are popular weed killers sold as Weed-B-Gone, Weedone, Miracle, Demise, Lawn-Keep, Raid Weed, Killer, Plantgard, Hormotox, and and Ded-Weed.

Of 99 human studies, 75 indicate a significant connection between exposure to pesticides and lymphomas. Twenty-four show no relationship. One study of pet dogs indicates that exposure to 2,4-D, doubles a dog’s chances of cancer.

While the carcinogenicity of these products is not scientifically established, limiting exposure to pesticides makes good sense

The question is not whether these products cause cancer, but why has the EPA allowed the public to be placed at risk for personal injuries and wrongful death by chemicals that have not been proven safe?

The available evidence strongly indicates that people occupationally exposed to pesticides are more likely than non-exposed or less-exposed people to suffer an excess of lymphoma.

Several studies conclude that parents who use pesticides are more likely to raise children with an excess of lymphoma.

Chlorophenol pesticides, atrazine and glyphosate are statistically linked to lymphoma.

Atrazine is used on 96% of the U.S. corn crop each year. It is found in drinking water in the Midwest during the growing season and has been strongly linked to birth defects in the children of midwestern farmers.

Glyphosate is sold as Roundup, Rodeo, Touchdown, Rattler, Sting, and Pondmaster, among other trademarked names.

Roundup is sold by Monsanto Corporation in conjunction with its genetically engineering food crops. Monsanto also sells “Roundup ready” seeds for corn, soybeans, and cotton; wheat will be next. These seeds are genetically engineered to withstand exposure to Roundup, which kills weeds without killing the plant, but which increases the amount of residual Roundup consumed by people. To make “Roundup ready” seeds legal, the EPA had to triple the allowable amount of glyphosate residues on food crops.

EPA obviously has sided with industry over the public. When an activity raises threats of harm to human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

This concept, known as the precautionary principle, is not new or unique. The laws of many states, including California, provide that whenever it is foreseeable that someone “might” be injured, the failure to take precautions is negligence.

Here the evidence is more than sufficient that people “might” be harmed by exposure to these pesticides.

For more information see Susan Osburn, Research report: Do Pesticides Cause Lymphoma? Available by U.S. mail from Lymphoma Foundation of America, P.O. Box 15335, Chevy Chase, MD 20825. Tel. (202) 223-6181. ISBN 0-9705127-0-8.

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Richard Alexander