Spraying houseplants with pesticides could up people's risk of developing brain tumours
New research suggests that people who use pesticides on their houseplants could be at higher risk of developing brain tumours.
A group of experts from the Institute of Public Health, Epidemiology and Development at the University Victor Segalen, Bordeaux, examined the role pesticides play in the development of the tumours.
They studied 121 patients with tumours - 95 men and 26 women - and used more than 400 people as controls.
They found that all agriculture workers exposed to pesticides have a slightly increased risk of developing a brain tumour, but that agricultural workers exposed to the highest levels have more than twice the risk.
That group was particularly likely to develop gliomas, which are tumours affecting the cells that support and protect nerve cells in the brain.
The authors also said that people who use pesticides on their indoor houseplants appear to have more than twice the risk.
But they are warning that more research is needed because the study does not examine what types of fertilisers, pesticides or other chemicals have been used in the home.
A spokesman for the Crop Protection Association said: "Pesticides are some of the most thoroughly regulated chemicals in the world.
"There is no conclusive scientific evidence of a link between pesticides and brain tumours."