Herbicides and Cancer: A Review and Discussion of Methodologic Issues

  • A. Blair
  • S. Hoar Zahm
Part of the Recent Results in Cancer Research book series (RECENTCANCER, volume 120)


In the late 1970s and early 1980s, investigators in Sweden reported over fivefold risks for soft-tissue sarcoma and lymphoma among persons exposed to phenoxyacetic acid herbicides and chlorophenols (Eriksson et al. 1981; Hardell and Sandstrom 1979; Hardell et al. 1981). The possibility that these widely used and important commercial chemicals might be human carcinogens prompted a number of epidemiologic investigations. Reports from over 20 additional studies are now available. Results from these investigations, which employed cohort and case-control designs, have not been consistent, but as of yet the discrepancies cannot be explained. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of available findings, to note consistencies and inconsistencies, to consider methodologic issues, particularly for case-control studies that might account for these inconsistencies, and to identify areas of research needing development.


Multiple Myeloma Exposure Evaluation Phenoxyacetic Acid Acid Herbicide Work Environ Health 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin·Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Blair
    • 1
  • S. Hoar Zahm
    • 1
  1. 1.Occupational Studies SectionNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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