By Safaa Kasraoui
By Safaa Kasraoui
Rabat – The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a subsidiary body of the World Health Organization (WHO), has released a list on March 20 of five probable and possible carcinogenic pesticides.
Three of these carcinogenic products, which are probably carcinogenic to humans (classified Group2A), are still being used in Morocco and have received the approval of the National Office for Food Safety (ONSSA), based on the list of the 2012 available approved substances on the organization’s website.
The three carcinogens,Malathion, Diazion, and Glyphosate, are widely used throughout Morocco, specifically in the agriculture and insect control protection at homes and gardens.Malathion is a fabricated organophosphorus product used as an insecticide.
The IARC noted the proof of carcinogenicity of this compound in humans (group2A) for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and prostate cancer.
“The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001,” explained IARC in its Monographs Volume 112.
According to the same report, the compound also causes tumors and DNA and chromosomal damage.
On the other hand, Diazinon, a thiophosphoric colorless-to-dark-brown liquid, is also a probable carcinogen to humans. This classification was made based on studies which confirmed that this product may induced DNA or chromosomal damage, according to the same report.
Glyphosate is also strongly suspected to cause cancer. On the basis of tumors in mice, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans (GroupC) in 1985.
According to the IARC, glyphosate is the most used of these substances in agriculture worldwide. The other two compounds are Tetrachlorvinphos and parathion which were also classified as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B).
What is Group 2A and Group 2B?
According to the IARC, Group 2A category is used to designate substances with a limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and adequate evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
On the other hand, Group 2B refers to substances have demonstrated convincing evidence causing.