The Pesticide Users Health Study - An analysis of cancer incidence (1987-2004)

The Pesticide Users Health Study (PUHS) consists of pesticide users certified under the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (COPR). This report presents cancer incidence experienced by pesticide users in the PUHS, and compares this to the rates observed in the national population.

Altogether, there were 1,720 registered cancers among 62,960 pesticide users between 1987 and 2004. Men in the PUHS had reduced overall cancer incidence compared to the national population. In particular, incidence of cancer of the lip, oral cavity & pharynx, cancer of the digestive organs, cancer of the respiratory system, and cancer of the urinary system were significantly below the numbers expected. Incidence of cancer of the testis and multiple myeloma were elevated among men in the PUHS, and incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer was elevated among both males and females.

The Health & Safety Executive should continue to recruit and follow-up pesticide users in the PUHS in order to monitor their health. Information collected through future research could be used to enhance analysis of cancer incidence among members of the PUHS, and control for potential confounding factors.

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