Parental occupational exposure to pesticides, animals and organic dust and risk of childhood leukemia and central nervous system tumors: Findings from the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C)

Deven M. Patel, Rena R. Jones, Benjamin J. Booth, Ann C. Olsson, Hans Kromhout, Kurt Straif, Roel Vermeulen, Gabriella Tikellis, Ora Paltiel, Jean Golding, Kate Northstone, Camilla Stoltenberg, Siri E. Håberg, Joachim Schüz, Melissa C. Friesen, Anne Louise Ponsonby, Stanley Lemeshow, Martha S. Linet, Per Magnus, Jørn OlsenSjurdur F. Olsen, Terence Dwyer, Leslie T. Stayner, Mary H. Ward, on behalf of the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium

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Abstract

Parental occupational exposures to pesticides, animals and organic dust have been associated with an increased risk of childhood
cancer based mostly on case–control studies. We prospectively evaluated parental occupational exposures and risk of childhood
leukemia and central nervous system (CNS) tumors in the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium. We pooled data on
329,658 participants from birth cohorts in five countries (Australia, Denmark, Israel, Norway and United Kingdom). Parental
occupational exposures during pregnancy were estimated by linking International Standard Classification of Occupations-1988 job
codes to the ALOHA+ job exposure matrix. Risk of childhood (myeloid leukemia (AML; n = 31) and CNS tumors (n = 158) was estimated using Cox proportional hazards models to generate
hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Paternal exposures to pesticides and animals were associated with increased
risk of childhood AML (herbicides HR = 3.22, 95% CI = 0.97–10.68; insecticides HR = 2.86, 95% CI = 0.99–8.23; animals
HR = 3.89, 95% CI = 1.18–12.90), but not ALL or CNS tumors. Paternal exposure to organic dust was positively associated with
AML (HR = 2.38 95% CI = 1.12–5.07), inversely associated with ALL (HR = 0.55, 95% CI = 0.31–0.99) and not associated with CNS
tumors. Low exposure prevalence precluded evaluation of maternal pesticide and animal exposures; we observed no significant
associations with organic dust exposure. This first prospective analysis of pooled birth cohorts and parental occupational
exposures provides evidence for paternal agricultural exposures as childhood AML risk factors. The different risks for childhood ALL
associated with maternal and paternal organic dust exposures should be investigated further.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-952
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume146
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • agricultural exposures
  • animals
  • childhood brain tumors
  • childhood cancer
  • childhood leukemia
  • organic dust
  • parental occupation
  • pesticides

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