Six-Year Study Provides Link Between Pesticides And Canine Malignant Lymphoma
Posted by Rebecca West on June 08, 2017
Cancer is purportedly the leading cause of death in canines over the age of two years old. Because of the high incidence rate, we surely don’t want to do anything that will add to that sobering statistic, but inadvertently we may be doing so without even knowing it. So, how are we contributing? According to a six-year study conducted at Tufts University, through the application of chemical pesticides.
Using chemicals on our lawns, gardens and farms has long been controversial. They are blamed for the deaths of far more than bugs and worms. Birds eat these creatures, who are in turn ingested by other creatures higher up on the food chain, and the cycle continues unabated from there. As humans, we are also caught up in that cycle, but little has been done about it and people continue to use them.
Canine Malignant Lymphoma
Insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, they’re all meant to kill, and they do it pretty effectively. But they’re also linked with birth defects and diseases that kill more slowly. During a six-year investigation, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine found that the use of these poisons was associated with a greater risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML), which is a model for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in human beings.
One toxin in particular that has been linked to at least two forms of canine cancer is 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, more commonly referred to as 2,4-D. 2,4-D is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that also happens to be a component of Agent Orange. It’s not only used on lawns, but on cereal crops, in fruit orchards, and even in pastures. Not surprisingly, it’s now found in groundwater and drinking water in many places throughout the world, and the runoff has been known to kill aquatic life.
Scientists connected to the study noted that, “Specifically, the use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70% higher risk of CML. Risk was also higher in those reporting use of self-applied insect growth regulators.” A previous study provided a link between herbicides containing 2,4-D and a doubled risk of CML in situations where homeowners used applications on their lawns up to four times a year or more.
Chemical Detection in Dogs
The report went on to say, “Chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households. Chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas.”
Canine Bladder Cancer
Another study conducted back in 2013 pointed to a “significantly higher” risk of dogs developing bladder cancer when 2,4-D herbicides were used. As it’s been pointed out, certain breeds, such as Shetland sheepdogs, beagles and four types of terriers (Scottish, West Highland white and wire hair fox), already have a genetic predisposition to bladder cancer, so they may be even more susceptible to developing the disease after exposure to lawn chemicals.
More and more folks are shying away from chemicals. They have been for decades now. If you have such a bug problem that it needs treating, then do your homework, identify the problem and consult with your local gardener’s association. Organic gardeners do not use chemicals for fertilizing or pest control. There are too many natural alternatives. For thousands of years we did alright that way, and if we stop poisoning ourselves we may do alright for several thousand more. Just a thought.