Bug poisons harm kids

Indoor insecticides associated with increased risk of childhood cancer

Children exposed to indoor insecticides are at increased risk of developing certain cancers, according to a review of 16 studies on children exposed to the chemicals. The researchers compared 7,400 cancer cases with 9,437 healthy control subjects.

The analysis, published in the journal Pediatrics, involved pesticides used by professional pest control services, indoor flea foggers, flea and tick collars for pets and a host of roach and ant sprays, according to The New York Times. Exposure increased risk of leukemia by 47 percent and lymphoma by 43 percent, while exposure to outdoor pesticides increased risk of brain tumors by 26 percent.

The study's authors emphasized that the relative increases in risk are for uncommon diseases and can be managed “as long as parents think, before using pesticides, about better ways to make a house pest-proof or pest-free.”