Pesticide and skin cancer link not proven

In collaboration with the Press Association

A new study reporting to have found a link between domestic pesticide use and the skin cancer type cutaneous melanoma, has been played down by Cancer Research UK. Experts warned that the study was too small to draw any meaningful conclusions and exposure to the sun is still by far the greatest contributory factor to skin cancer. The study by researchers at the a Clinical Epidemiology Unit, at the Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata in Rome asked around 290 people with skin cancer if they could remember how often they had used pesticides in the past, and compared their answers with a similar number who had not got skin cancer. However, Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK, said: "This study is far too small to draw any firm conclusions about whether using pesticides at home can affect a person's risk of skin cancer. "By far the major risk factor for malignant melanoma is overexposure to strong sunlight. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is thought to cause about 90 percent of all skin cancers. "If people are worried about their risk of skin cancer they're better off chucking on a t-shirt and sunhat, not chucking out the bug spray."