Herbicide use in farming and other jobs in relation to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) risk

Anneclaire J. De Roos, Lin Fritschi, Mary H. Ward, Alain Monnereau, Jonathan Hofmann, Leslie Bernstein, Parveen Bhatti, Yolanda Benavente Moreno, Geza Benke, Delphine Casabonne, Jacqueline Clavel, Pierluigi Cocco, Tran Huynh, Andrea T' Mannetje, Lucia Miligi, Sara Piro, Nathaniel Rothman, Leah H. Schinasi, Claire M. Vajdic, Sophia S. WangYawei Zhang, Susan L. Slager, James R. Cerhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Given mixed evidence for carcinogenicity of current-use herbicides, we studied the relationship between occupational herbicide use and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in a large, pooled study. Methods: We pooled data from 10 case-control studies participating in the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium, including 9229 cases and 9626 controls from North America, the European Union and Australia. Herbicide use was coded from self-report or by expert assessment in the individual studies, for herbicide groups (eg, phenoxy herbicides) and active ingredients (eg, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), glyphosate). The association between each herbicide and NHL risk was estimated using logistic regression to produce ORs and 95% CIs, with adjustment for sociodemographic factors, farming and other pesticides. Results: We found no substantial association of all NHL risk with ever-use of any herbicide (OR=1.10, 95% CI: 0.94 to 1.29), nor with herbicide groups or active ingredients. Elevations in risk were observed for NHL subtypes with longer duration of phenoxy herbicide use, such as for any phenoxy herbicide with multiple myeloma (>25.5 years, OR=1.78, 95% CI: 0.74 to 4.27), 2,4-D with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (>25.5 years, OR=1.47, 95% CI: 0.67 to 3.21) and other (non-2,4-D) phenoxy herbicides with T-cell lymphoma (>6 years, lagged 10 years, OR=3.24, 95% CI: 1.03 to 10.2). An association between glyphosate and follicular lymphoma (lagged 10 years: OR=1.48, 95% CI: 0.98 to 2.25) was fairly consistent across analyses. Conclusions: Most of the herbicides examined were not associated with NHL risk. However, associations of phenoxy herbicides and glyphosate with particular NHL subtypes underscore the importance of estimating subtype-specific risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-806
Number of pages12
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Oct 7 2022


  • epidemiology
  • occupational health
  • pesticides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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