A French study published Wednesday has found link between the density of vineyards near homes and an elevated risk of childhood leukaemia.
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Carried out by national health and medical research agency Inserm, the study concluded that larger vineyard plots increased the risk of haematologic malignancies in children who lived within a 1-kilometre radius of wine-growing areas.
Researchers found that when the surface area of a vineyard increased by 10 percent, the risk of lymphoblastic leukaemia also rose by almost the same amount.
Inserm’s study, published in the monthly journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is the first to quantify this link on a national scale.
The simple presence of vines itself near homes was not a risk factor.
The research agency estimates that around leukaemia is diagnosed in some 500 French children each year. Eighty percent of them are lymphoblastic leukemia cases.
To reach their conclusion, researchers examined more than 3,700 cases of paediatric leukaemia registered between 2006 and 2013, along with the children’s addresses at the time of their diagnosis.
They then compared this information with a control group of more than 40,000 healthy children of the same age.
“For all of these children, sick and not sick, we were able to geolocate the residential addresses on the map of mainland France,” said Stéphanie Goujon, who led the study.
“These addresses were then cross-checked with a map of the cultivated areas and in particular wine plots.
“Analysis of other crops and other types of cancer is also underway … including the evaluation of exposure to different pesticides.”
In 2021 French authorities launched an unprecedented study in six wine-growing regions to determine if people living near vineyards are at greater risk of exposure to pesticides.
https://www.rfi.fr/en/france/20231018-french-children-living-near-large-vineyards-at-higher-risk-of-leukemia-study French children living near large vineyards at higher risk of leukemia: study