Study says pesticides may be linked to cancer

A federal study says North Carolina farmers and their wives are more likely to get prostate cancer than nonfarming couples.

The study of 31,000 farming couples in the state over a four-year period found they were 14-percent more likely to develop cancer than the general population.

The pesticide methyl bromide was most widely linked to cancer.

State health statistics show prostate cancer was the most common cancer in the late 1990s in North Carolina.

Millions of pounds of methyl bromide still are used each year.

The pesticide is being phased out of use worldwide because it depletes the protective ozone layer of the atmosphere.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)