The Strong Link Between Cancer and Pesticide Exposure

You should have no doubt in your mind about the toxicity of pesticides, especially after reading this fascinating piece from the Globe and Mail about the specific poisoning of children in a farming community of Kensington on the western tip of Canada's Prince Edward Island.

Interestingly enough, no one was aware of the community-wide problem until one doctor who had relocated northward from the United States to the island spotted it shortly after he arrived. The evidence: Incidents of lymphoma, myeloid leukemia and osteosarcoma that would typically appear in patients living near a toxic waste site. Adults weren't spared either, with three cases of brain cancer reported.

The big tipoff, however, was the number of bone-related cancers (two) in a community of some 14,000. By the numbers, the number of Canadian children who are diagnosed yearly with osteosarcoma amounted to only three or four per million. Later, scientific studies discovered Kensington registered the second-highest readings for pesticides in the country and that the entire island community is exposed to airborne pesticides during the summer.

Adding to the problem: Island farmers grow potatoes, one of a handful of vegetables containing the highest levels of pesticides.

Globe and Mail.com December 6, 2006


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