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I'm not sure what is meant by snippet (see Dr. Curl's posting below).  What I posted to the list was a press release from the Lymphoma Foundation in its entirety.  Here again is the posting I made in full provided at bottom of this message.  Also, the email did not mentioned mutagenicity.  I said if a chemical causes cancer in animals, it is a good bet that humans are also at risk.  This has nothing to do with the Ames assay which assesses some types of mutagenicity.  I did not say that if a chemical causes a positive response in the Ames assay, it is a risk for people.  That's another issue.  Conflating ames - type mutagenicity with cancer induction fails to address the issue at hand.
Dr. Curl also writes "It is quite inappropriate to "ban" some very useful chemical from use solely on the basis of the Ames
test or even on the basis of tests on animal models."  
I would ask which "very useful" chemical has been banned due only to a positive result in the Ames assay? 
As for the animal models, I'm not ready to wait till cancers (or other effects) show up in humans before steps are taken to reduce or eliminate human exposures if a chemical causes adverse impacts in animal models.  Animal models are the best we've got when it comes to assessing potential human impacts (particularly when combined with structure/activity relationships and other assessment tools).  Not to mention that some materials should be banned simply because of their effects on animals alone (e.g., DDT, lead shot) or even their ability to simply build up in food webs (e.g., certain polybrominated diphenyl ethers). 
I thought that I might also add a blurb from the Minutes of Meetings of the Public Relations Committee of the Manufacturing Chemists Association from Oct. 7, 1975.  This document is available on the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org) that houses the documents covered in the recent Bill Moyers report on the chemical industry.  The statement does show industry to be very worried that animal carcinogens would be used as "flags" for human impacts.
"[Robert Morris] (chairman of the board of Velsicol Chemical Corporation) said that the most potentially serious danger for the pesticide and chemical industries lies in the nine principles defining a carcinogen as proposed in the Aldrin/dieldrin hearings.  He said that three were most important: (3) Any substance which produces tumors in animals must be considered a carcinogenic hazard to man if the results were achieved according to the established parallels of the valid carcinogenic test."  (Note: I left out the first two for space purposes, I can give them to folks if wanted). (CMA document no. 134438, 134439)
The bottom line here is that the Lymphoma study raises important questions about human exposures to pesticides.  Clearly, not all pesticides cause lymphoma, however. 
Rane Curl wrote:
---- Original Message -----
From: Rane Curl
To: enviromich
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 2:59 PM

Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Fri, 18 May 2001, David Zaber wrote:

> Perhaps Dr. Curl didn't catch the rest of the press release which
> discussed the peer review process for this study.  Complaining that
> the anecdotal portion of the press release does not support the
> findings of the study is a bit, well, off the mark.  I strongly
> suggest that folks read the report before making conclusions regarding
> the suitability of the studies reviewed, etc. 

My point was that the snippet posted to this list was meaningless, so one
can well ask why it was posted. I reached and stated no conclusion about
the study itself, only about what was presented. Unbalanced reporting
does, of course, often present a biased interpretation, and not always

> However, when it comes
> to cancer, if a chemical causes cancer in test animals, its a good bet
> that humans may be at risk.

It is not a "good bet", but it is at least suggestive. The proposition is
the basis for using the well known Ames test for mutagenicity, but the
best one can say is that "there is a good correlation between mutagen
strength and carcinogen strength in rodent studies"
(http://www.ilpi.com/msds/ref/amestest.html). It is quite inappropriate to
"ban" some very useful chemical from use solely on the basis of the Ames
test or even on the basis of tests on animal models. It is well known that
animals and humans respond differently to many chemicals, in regard to
carcinogenicity. (The saccharin controversy is still with us, even though
it does not give a positive Ames test result -

I do agree that it is better to "err on the side of caution" (though the
people that reversed the EPA recommended 10 ppb limit on arsenic
apparently do not hold to that), but not to make categorical statements on
the basis of caution.

--Rane L. Curl

Folks,  Here is some interesting information on Lymphoma and pesticide use.  Note Michigan's rank amoung the top five lymphoma states.  Now, go out there and spray those lawns........

Dave Zaber
Do Pesticides Cause Lymphoma?, a report May 9 by the Lymphoma Foundation of America (LFA), reveals the mounting evidence that pesticides are a cause of lymphoma.  The report is the first-ever comprehensive review of worldwide research studies on the subject of lymphoma and pesticides. Do Pesticides Cause Lymphoma? has been thoroughly reviewed by a panel of nationally recognized scientists, doctors, and health professionals.

Though scientists and researchers have been researching the lymphoma-pesticides connection for over two decades, individual studies have received little attention. But now, with this report of collected evidence, the correlation between lymphoma and pesticides is hard to ignore.

The report also reveals five of the top ‘hot spots’ for lymphoma – states that are also high in pesticide use – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan, and Illinois.

Lymphoma is the second fastest rising cancer in the United States. While most other cancers in the U.S. are now decreasing, the rate of lymphoma has been dramatically increasing, leading LFA to call it an epidemic. Lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, strikes both adults and children, with men at the highest risk. And, as one study in the report shows, when pesticides are used inside the home, lymphoma rates in children are higher.

Many lymphoma victims think pesticides are a probable factor in their disease. Gary Seem of New Jersey sprayed pesticides on golf courses throughout high school and college and was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1996. For twenty years, Alan Hingston of Oregon was consistently exposed to pesticides on the playground at the school where he worked – each exposure bringing on severe physical reactions. Currently battling Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hingston believes pesticide exposure is a major factor in his disease. American Plant Food Company, a garden center in the Washington, D.C. area, remarkably began removing pesticides from its shelves early last year, in part because one of the owners is battling lymphoma, for which she feels her exposure to pesticides played a critical role.

Please contact Ms. Robbie Kaplan at 202-518-8047 or robbie@publicinterestpr.com for more information including: a copy of Do Pesticides Cause Lymphoma?, a Lymphoma Mortality Pattern Map, contact information for an LFA spokesperson, doctors who treat lymphoma, and/or victims of lymphoma who believe their disease was caused by pesticide exposure.

Lymphoma Foundation of America, an independent nonprofit charity, is a national organization devoted to helping lymphoma patients and their families. Founded in 1986 by lymphoma survivors, LFA organized the first lymphoma support group in the United States. Visit www.lymphomaresearch.org.

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