Parental occupational exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood cancer in Switzerland: a census-based cohort study.

Coste, Astrid; Bailey, Helen D; Kartal-Kaess, Mutlu; Renella, Raffaele; Berthet, Aurélie; Spycher, Ben D. (2020). Parental occupational exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood cancer in Switzerland: a census-based cohort study. BMC cancer, 20(1), p. 819. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12885-020-07319-w

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BACKGROUND

Pesticide exposure is a suspected risk factor for childhood cancer. We investigated the risk of developing childhood cancer in relation to parental occupational exposure to pesticides in Switzerland for the period 1990-2015.

METHODS

From a nationwide census-based cohort study in Switzerland, we included children aged < 16 years at national censuses of 1990 and 2000 and followed them until 2015. We extracted parental occupations reported at the census closest to the birth year of the child and estimated exposure to pesticides using a job exposure matrix. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for potential confounders, were fitted for the following outcomes: any cancer, leukaemia, central nervous system tumours (CNST), lymphoma, non-CNS solid tumours.

RESULTS

Analyses of maternal (paternal) exposure were based on approximately 15.9 (15.1) million-person years at risk and included 1891 (1808) cases of cancer, of which 532 (503) were leukaemia, 348 (337) lymphomas, 423 (399) CNST, and 588 (569) non-CNS solid tumours. The prevalence of high likelihood of exposure was 2.9% for mothers and 6.7% for fathers. No evidence of an association was found with maternal or paternal exposure for any of the outcomes, except for "non-CNS solid tumours" (High versus None; Father: adjusted HR [95%CI] =1.84 [1.31-2.58]; Mother: 1.79 [1.13-2.84]). No evidence of an association was found for main subtypes of leukaemia and lymphoma. A post-hoc analysis on frequent subtypes of "non-CNS solid tumours" showed positive associations with wide CIs for some cancers.

CONCLUSION

Our study suggests an increased risk for solid tumours other than in the CNS among children whose parents were occupationally exposed to pesticides; however, the small numbers of cases limited a closer investigation of cancer subtypes. Better exposure assessment and pooled studies are needed to further explore a possible link between specific childhood cancers types and parental occupational exposure to pesticides.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Hämatologie / Onkologie (Pädiatrie)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DBMR Forschung Mu35 > Forschungsgruppe Hämatologie / Onkologie (Pädiatrie)

UniBE Contributor:

Coste, Astrid; Kartal-Kaess, Mutlu and Spycher, Ben

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services

ISSN:

1471-2407

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Andrea Flükiger-Flückiger

Date Deposited:

01 Sep 2020 18:07

Last Modified:

01 Sep 2020 18:08

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12885-020-07319-w

PubMed ID:

32859175

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Childhood cancer Occupation Pesticides Record-based cohort

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146272

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146272

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