Josie Taylor | July 12, 2022
University of Idaho and Northern Arizona University researchers found a correlation between agricultural pesticides and cancer in western states. Two studies were conducted. One examined correlating data in 11 Western states and one took a closer look at data in Idaho specifically.
The studies found a possible relationship between agricultural pesticides, particularly fumigants, and cancer incidences. For the larger study, pesticide data was pulled from the U.S. Geological Survey Pesticide National Synthesis Project database, and the cancer data was gathered from National Cancer Institute State Cancer Profiles.
Alan Kolok led both studies. He is a University of Idaho professor and director of the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute. Kolok said the correlation between the sets of data on multiple population scales gives him a reason to want to look into the matter further, however it is not enough to be definite proof.
Idaho is the only state Kolok has taken a close look at, and his colleague and co-author at Northern Arizona University, Cathy Propper, said she didn’t know if the right data was available in other states like it was in Idaho.
Kolok said the next steps they hope to take are expanding their data research to a nationwide scale and further examining whether there is a cause behind the correlation they found between pesticides and cancer.