Risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and prediagnostic serum organochlorines: β-Hexachlorocyclohexane, chlordane/heptachlor-related compounds, dieldrin, and hexachlorobenzene

Kenneth P. Cantor, Paul Timothy Strickland, John W. Brock, David Bush, Kathy Helzlsouer, Larry L. Needham, Shelia Hoar Zahm, George W. Comstock, Nathaniel Rothman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Increases in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) incidence and mortality rates during the past few decades remain largely unexplained. Studies suggest that organochlorine pesticides may contribute to an increased risk of NHL. In 1974, serum samples were obtained from 25,802 participants in the Campaign Against Cancer and Stroke in Washington County, Maryland (USA), and cryopreserved for future study. We measured prediagnostic levels of chlordane, lindane (γ-hexachlorocychlohexane), β-hexachlorocyclohexane, transnonachlor, heptachlor expoxide, oxychlordane, dieldrin, and hexachlorobenzene in serum samples of 74 cases on NHL and 147 matched controls. Previously, we found an association between NHL and serum levels of total PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), but not DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and related compounds. In this instance, there was no evidence of an association between NHL risk and serum levels of any of the individual lipid-and recovery-corrected organochlorines that we evaluated, nor of the summed chlordane-related compounds (transnonchlor, heptachlor, heptachlor epoxide, oxychlordane). These findings do not support the hypothesis that the organochlorine compounds included in this study are strongly linked to the development on NHL. The possibility of a weak association cannot be excluded by these data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-183
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003



  • Chlordane
  • Dieldrin
  • Heptachlor
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • Lindane
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Organochlorine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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