Updated on 24 June 2015
WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer said that DDT may also cause cancer
Singapore: World health Organization has warned that insecticide Lindane, used broadly in agriculture and products used to cure human lice and scabies, is carcinogenic and has been precisely associated to cancers like Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).
In its recent review the health agency mentioned that exposure to lindane could increase the risk of the rare immune cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, by 60 percent.
WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), alsi said that dichlorodiphenylTrichloroethane (DDT), may also cause cancer, mainly affecting the liver and testicles.
The findings, published in the Lancet Oncology, showed that there is strong evidence that a third chemical, the herbicide 2,4-D, causes an imbalance in the body called oxidative stress. However, the panel stopped short of concluding there was a definite link to cancer, saying there was insufficient information.
Since 2009, in many countries lindane has been prohibited under the Stockholm Convention of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), earlier used widely to control insects in agriculture. Due to its ban in agricultural usage, lindane was used to treat lice and scabies.
According to IARC, high disclosures to lindane was reported before between agricultural workers and pesticide applicators. In the countries like United States (US) and Canada, larger studies in epidemiology of agricultural exposures was shown to have 60 percent increased risk of NHL to those exposed to lindane.