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Parental occupational organic dust exposure and selected childhood cancers in Denmark 1968â2016



Pesticide exposures have been examined previously as risk factors for childhood brain cancers, but few studies were able to assess risk from specific agents.


To evaluate risks for childhood central nervous system tumors associated with residential proximity to agricultural pesticide applications.


Using the California Cancer Registry, we identified cancer cases less than 6 years of age and frequency matched them by year of birth to 20 cancer-free controls identified from birth certificates. We restricted analyses to mothers living in rural areas and births occurring between 1998 and 2011, resulting in 667 cases of childhood central nervous system tumors and 123,158 controls. Possible carcinogens were selected per the Environmental Protection Agency’s (US. EPA) classifications, and prenatal exposure was assessed according to pesticides reported by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (CDPR) Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) system as being applied within 4000m of the maternal residence at birth. We computed odds ratios for individual pesticide associations using unconditional logistic and hierarchical regression models.


We observed elevated risks in the hierarchical models for diffuse astrocytoma with exposure to bromacil (OR: 2.12, 95% CI: 1.13-3.97), thiophanate-methyl (OR: 1.64, 95% CI: 1.02-2.66), triforine (OR: 2.38, 95% CI: 1.44-3.92), and kresoxim methyl (OR: 2.09, 95% CI: 1.03-4.21); elevated risks for medulloblastoma with exposure to chlorothalonil (OR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.15-2.76), propiconazole (OR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.02, 2.53), dimethoate (OR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.06, 2.43), and linuron (OR: 2.52, 95% CI: 1.25, 5.11); and elevated risk for ependymoma with exposure to thiophanate-methyl (OR: 1.72, 95% CI: 1.10-2.68).


Our study suggests that exposure to certain pesticides through residential proximity to agricultural applications during pregnancy may increase the risk of childhood central nervous system tumors.

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