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Parental occupational exposure and risk of childhood central nervous system tumors: a pooled analysis of case-control studies from Germany, France, and the UK

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Published copy (DOI)


  • Catherine Huoi
  • Ann Olsson
  • Tracy Lightfoot
  • Eve Roman
  • Jacqueline Clavel
  • Brigitte Lacour
  • Peter Kaatsch
  • Hans Kromhout
  • Roel Vermeulen
  • Susan Peters
  • Helen D Bailey
  • Joachim Schüz


Publication details

JournalCancer causes and control
DateE-pub ahead of print - 5 Oct 2014
DatePublished (current) - 5 Dec 2014
Issue number12
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1603-1613
Early online date5/10/14
Original languageEnglish


PURPOSE: To assess the risk of childhood central nervous system (CNS) tumors associated with parental occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), diesel motor exhaust (DME), asbestos, crystalline silica, and metals, which are established carcinogens in adults.

METHODS: We pooled data from three population-based case-control studies from Germany, France, and the UK. Cases were children aged up to 15 years and diagnosed with CNS tumor, and controls were frequency-matched by age and sex. Socio-demographic data and parental occupation around conception/pregnancy and at diagnosis were collected using standardized interviews, face-to-face or by telephone. A general population job-exposure matrix was used to assign a level of exposure to each job. Logistic regression models were fitted to compute odds ratios and 95 % confidence intervals.

RESULTS: Our study included 1,361 cases of CNS tumors and 5,500 controls. Paternal exposure to PAH, asbestos, and metals around conception was associated with an increased moderate risk of CNS tumors, although statistically non-significant. The association with exposure to asbestos around conception and diagnosis was stronger when fathers were exposed to high levels. Paternal exposure to DME and silica, and maternal exposure to PAH, DME, asbestos, silica, and metals, were not associated with an increased risk of CNS tumors.

CONCLUSION: Our large pooled study showed weak evidence of a modest association between paternal occupational exposure to PAH and CNS tumor risk. Our findings need further exploration in the future studies.

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