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Cancer on the lawn

Children from houses where hanging insecticidal strips are used are at almost twice the risk of developing leukaemia. This rises to three times the risk if the strips were used in the last three months of pregnancy. Dichlorvos, the main insecticide used in hanging strips is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a human carcinogen.

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The researchers from the North Carolina State Center for Health and Environmental Studies also found that children living in houses with gardens treated with chemicals were almost four times more likely to contract soft tissue sarcomas, a type of cancer.

Editorial

(i) Another study showed that dogs were twice as likely to develop cancers if their owners treated their lawns with 2,4-D.

(ii) Dichlorvos, the main insecticide used in hanging strips is classified by the US Environmental Protection Agency as a human carcinogen. 2,4-D, the main weedkiller used in gardens, has been linked with cancer in farm workers by several studies.

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References

(264) Independent on Sunday 20.3.1995