Pesticide Exposure and Cancers in Barpeta District, Assam - A Case for Control Study
M. Hazarika and R. Hazarika
Journal Title:Nature Environment and Pollution Technology
Occupational exposure of carcinogenic pesticides in agricultural fields of Barpeta district, Lower Assam, is a matter of concern. The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between exposures of carcinogenic pesticides and occurrence of cancer in the agricultural region of Barpeta district. A structured questionnaire was employed in a field based case-control study to gather information on demographics, occupation, pesticide exposure, agricultural practices, family history and medical history along with smoking habit. One hundred cases of different cancers were identified in the field. The control (100) were chosen from the same environment in terms of age, sex, smoking and other food habit. To control confounders, multiple logistic regression analysis was used. To assess the dose-respond relationship between exposure and disease, the chi-square test for trend was used. One hundred (100) historically confirmed cancer cases were detected from the year 2008-2010. Sex and age matched one hundred controls were included in the study. Pesticide exposure independently associated with different types of cancer in the region. Lung cancer (OR = 1.138, 0.790-1.48, P = 0.769), Throat cancer (OR = 1.426, 0.564-3.78, P = 0.735), leukaemia (OR =1.167, 0.261-5.909, P = 0.056), stomach cancer (OR = 1.069, 0.281-4.385, P = 1.00). Pesticide exposure strongly associated with cancer after controlling smoking. Cancer was associated with pesticide exposure after controlling the confounders. Smoking and eating during pesticide application were identified as modifying factors for increasing the risk of cancer. The poor pesticide work practices identified during this study. Proper training and educational campaigns are essential for handling pesticides.