Agricultural Health Study 2002 Buccal Cell Collection T he role of genetics in health and Why collect buccal cells? disease is one of the most rapidly Collecting buccal cells enables researchers expanding areas of scientific to better understand the way people inquiry today. That’s why the process substances that affect cancer and Agricultural Health Study has other diseases and to determine why some www.aghealth.org included the collection of genetic material people who are exposed to certain by using a new procedure: the buccal cell substances develop diseases, whereas collection. others exposed to the same substances do not. The material in the buccal cell samples, What are buccal cells? combined with information on occupa- Buccal cells are the cells from the inner tional, environmental, and dietary factors, lining of the mouth, or cheek. These cells allows researchers to get a more complete are routinely shed and replaced by new assessment of what is affecting the health cells. As the old cells die, they accumulate of the agricultural population. in the saliva in the mouth and can easily be collected by a simple procedure using How are the cells collected? mouthwash. Participants who agree to do the buccal cell collection are mailed a kit that includes Are you a participant in the everything they will need for this simple Agricultural Health Study? “swish and spit” procedure. Each partici- If you are… pant is asked to swish one tablespoon of • and if you have already been interviewed Scope® mouthwash in his or her mouth by telephone about your farming, health, and then spit it into the container and diet provided. This one-time procedure takes • but have not yet provided a buccal approximately 5 minutes to complete. cell sample To prevent contamination of the sample, It’s not too late to participate! the study suggests that others not handle Please call 1-800-217-1954 so that the the supplies. The sample can be collected Agricultural Health Study can mail a buccal at home and mailed with the signed Iowa Office: cell kit to you. The buccal cell sample is consent form to the laboratory in a The University of Iowa 100 Oakdale Campus easy to do and just takes a few minutes preposted, addressed envelope. Iowa City, IA 52242-5000 of your time. 1-800-217-1954 Your participation will help the Agricultural Health Study get representative results Collaborating Partners: Iowa State University Extension and would be greatly appreciated. Iowa Department of Agriculture Thank you for calling… and Land Stewardship We need your help! How will the buccal cell samples be used? How many participants have provided The Agricultural Health Study is a long-term study to The buccal cell sample is being collected samples? investigate the effects of environmental, occupational, for use in future research. The exact studies So far, approximately 27,000 buccal cell dietary, and genetic factors that will be performed are currently not samples have been collected from on the health of the agricultural population. known but are likely to include the participants in the Agricultural Health This study will provide information that agricultural following: Study—mainly farmers in Iowa and North workers can use in making decisions about their health 1) differences in genes that may be related Carolina who are pesticide applicators and and the health of their to how people process disease-causing their spouses. The study will continue to families. The study is conducted in Iowa by the substances; collect samples as additional Agricultural Department of Epidemiology at the University of Iowa and 2) how the effects of diet, lifestyle, environ- Health Study participants are contacted for in North Carolina by Battelle CPHRE. The study is directed ment, race and ethnicity, age, and other the 5-year follow-up interviews. Only by the National Cancer Institute, the National factors may be related to these genes. participants of the Agricultural Health Institute of Environmental Health, and the US To protect the confidentiality of these Study can take part, and no new Environmental Protection Agency. genetic tests, there are multiple safe- participants may be added to the study. guards. Collection bottles are identified This important and valuable contribution Michael C. R. Alavanja, Dr. P.H. by numbers—not by names. All information is made possible only through the Project Officer Occupational Epidemiology Branch is to be kept confidential to the extent willingness of Agricultural Health Study National Cancer Institute Executive Plaza South, Room 8000 provided by law. Names of participants will participants in Iowa and North Carolina. Rockville, MD 20852 not be used in any reports. The study More specifics regarding study findings are Aaron Blair, Ph.D. Assistant Project Officer results are reported in statistical summary available through our website at: Occupational Epidemiology Branch National Cancer Institute form only. www.aghealth.org. Executive Plaza South, Room 8118 Rockville, MD 20852 What about research results? Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D. The Agricultural Health Study does not plan Acting Chief Epidemiology Branch to inform participants of their individual National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences results. If the research yields findings that 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, are of possible medical benefit, the study P.O. Box 12233 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709 will publish findings that will be provided Jane Hoppin, Sc.D. to participants. The buccal cell collection Epidemiology Branch National Institute of Environmental Even though immediate personal benefits is one of the most important parts Health Sciences 111 T. W. Alexander Drive, P.O. Box 12233 are not expected, the knowledge gained of the Agricultural Health Study! Research Park Triangle, NC 27709 from this research may eventually benefit Kent Thomas, BSPH Team Leader, AHS Pesticide not only the farming community but also Exposure Study people worldwide. By comparing samples National Exposure Research Laboratory from participants who have diseases with US Environmental Protection Agency MD 205-04 samples from those who are healthy, the Research Triangle Park, NC 27711 Agricultural Health Study may be able to identify factors that prevent disease and AHS-IA-2002-3 promote good health.