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Agricultural Exposures and Breast Cancer Among Latina in the San Joaquin Valley of California

Mills, Paul K. PhD; Dodge, Jennifer L. MPH; Bush, Jason PhD; Thompson, Yesenia MS; Shah, Purvi MPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 7 - p 552–558
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001598

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the role of agricultural work, pesticide exposure, and age at first farm labor exposure in breast cancer (BC) risk among Hispanic women in Central California.

Methods: A BC case control study was conducted. Latina BC cases were identified through the California Cancer Registry and controls were recruited. Both cases and controls completed a detailed questionnaire. Pesticide exposure data were obtained by linking the crops, work locations, and dates worked in specific farm jobs with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Pesticide Use Reports (PUR).

Results: Chemicals associated with BC risk included organophosphates, organochlorines, and a phthalimide, Captan. Age at first work in farm labor was younger in cases than controls (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: Agricultural work may be associated with the increased BC risk in female Hispanic farm workers.

University of California, San Francisco, Fresno Medical Education and Research Program, Fresno, California (Dr Mills and Ms Shah); University of California, San Francisco, Division of Transplant Surgery, Fresno, California (Ms Dodge); and Department of Biology, California State University, Fresno, California (Dr Bush and Ms Thompson).

Address correspondence to: Paul K. Mills, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Fresno Medical Education and Research Program, 155 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93701 (

Funding: California Breast Cancer Research Program 14IB-0032.

Mills, Dodge, Bush, Thompson, and Shah have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website (

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine