I thought gardening might be soothing, but according to research released this week by Massey University’s Centre for Public Health Research workers in plant nurseries are four times more likely to develop the cancer Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, with apple and pear growing associated with a five-fold risk. The researchers attribute this risk to exposure to the chemical pesticides. The research doesn’t mention the rate of cancer amongst the pests, but I suspect that is quite high too.The reearchers also noted that hairdressers and sewing machinists faced an increased risk of bladder cancer, probably due to the chemical benzidine, which is common in hair and fabric dyes.
Of course, the bloody unions are up in arms about the whole thing, making unreasonable demands such as raised awareness of the issue and meetings with the Department of Labour, Occupational Safety and Health and the ACC. Next thing you’ll know consumers will be getting all uppity about whether their apples and pears actually need to be sprayed with cancerous pesticides or their clothes dipped in benzidine.