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MOTHBALLS POSE LYMPHOMA RISK
A new study has found that the use of mothballs
nearly doubles the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for women.
Mothballs contain naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene, which have long
been recognized as toxic compounds and have formerly been found to cause other
As in other studies, the researchers also found
increased lymphoma risk for women who lived and worked on farms where pesticides
were used, and who for those who use pesticides in their homes.
Mothballs are a type of pesticide that is often overlooked in cancer risk
analyses, though the chemicals in mothballs are toxic and human exposures can
occur from breathing the fumes as well as from handling the mothballs and
wearing clothes that have been treated with mothballs.
Though the study was conducted using women as subjects, it is probable
that the results apply to men as well.
The authors note that naphthalene and para-dichlorobenzene
are also found in air fresheners and solid toilet-bowl deodorizers, and are
often found when households are tested for hazardous chemicals in indoor air.
As always, Lymphoma Foundation of America recommends
that lymphoma survivors take extra care to avoid chemical exposures.
I.; Watanabe-Meserve, H.; Keonig, K.L.; Baptiste, M.S.; Lillquist, P.P.;
Frizzera, G.; Burke, J.S.; Moseson, M.; & Shore, R.E.
Pesticide product use and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in women.
Environmental Health Perspectives 112: 1275 - 1281 (Sept., 2004).