Parental occupational paint exposure and risk of childhood leukemia in the offspring: findings from the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

Helen D. Bailey, Lin Fritschi, Catherine Metayer, Claire Infante-Rivard, Corrado Magnani, Eleni Petridou, Eve Roman, Logan G. Spector, Peter Kaatsch, Jacqueline Clavel, Elizabeth Milne, John D. Dockerty, Deborah C. Glass, Tracy Lightfoot, Lucia Miligi, Jérémie Rudant, Margarita Baka, Roberto Rondelli, Alicia Amigou, Jill SimpsonAlice Y. Kang, Maria Moschovi, Joachim Schüz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Purpose: It has been suggested that parental occupational paint exposure around the time of conception or pregnancy increases the risk of childhood leukemia in the offspring.

Methods: We obtained individual level data from 13 case–control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium. Occupational data were harmonized to a compatible format. Meta-analyses of study-specific odds ratios (ORs) were undertaken, as well as pooled analyses of individual data using unconditional logistic regression.

Results: Using individual data from fathers of 8,185 cases and 14,210 controls, the pooled OR for paternal exposure around conception and risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was 0.93 [95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.76, 1.14]. Analysis of data from 8,156 ALL case mothers and 14,568 control mothers produced a pooled OR of 0.81 (95 % CI 0.39, 1.68) for exposure during pregnancy. For acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the pooled ORs for paternal and maternal exposure were 0.96 (95 % CI 0.65, 1.41) and 1.31 (95 % CI 0.38, 4.47), respectively, based on data from 1,231 case and 11,392 control fathers and 1,329 case and 12,141 control mothers. Heterogeneity among the individual studies ranged from low to modest.

Conclusions: Null findings for paternal exposure for both ALL and AML are consistent with previous reports. Despite the large sample size, results for maternal exposure to paints in pregnancy were based on small numbers of exposed. Overall, we found no evidence that parental occupational exposure to paints increases the risk of leukemia in the offspring, but further data on home exposure are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1367
Number of pages17
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 11 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
the tenure of a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, partially supported by the European Commission FP7 Marie Curie Actions—People—Co-funding of regional, national and international programmes (COFUND). The CLIC administration, annual meetings, and pooled analyses are partially supported by the National Cancer Institute, NCI, USA (grant R03CA132172), National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIEHS, USA (grants P01 ES018172 and R13 ES021145-01), the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, USEPA, USA (grant RD83451101), and the Children with Cancer, CwC, UK (Award No. 2010/097). Aus-ALL was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (Grant ID 254539). The Canadian study was funded by The National Cancer Institute of Canada; Grant numbers: #014113, #010735-CERN #RFA0405; The Medical Research Council of Canada; Grant number: MOP 37951; The Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec; Grant number: #981141; The Bureau of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Canada; Health and Welfare Canada; The Leukemia Research Fund of Canada; and the National Health and Research Development Program, Ottawa. ADELE Grant sponsors: INSERM, the French Ministère de l’Environnement, the Association pour la Recherche contre le Cancer, the Fondation de France, the Fondation Jeanne Liot, the Fondation Weisbrem-Berenson, the Ligue Contre le Cancer du Val de Marne, the Ligue Nationale Contre le Cancer. ESCALE Grant sponsors: INSERM, the Fondation de France, the Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC), the Agence Franc¸aise de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé (AFSSAPS), the AgenceFranc¸aise de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Environnement et du Travail (AFSSET), the association Cent pour sang la vie, the Institut National du Cancer (INCa), the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), the Cancéropôle Ile-de-France; The German study (GCCR) was supported by a grant from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nuclear Safety and Nature Preservation. NARECHEM, is supported in part by the National and Kapodistrian University, Athens, Greece. The SETIL study was financially supported by research grants received by AIRC (Italian Association on Research on Cancer), MIUR (Ministry for Instruction, University and Research), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour, Piedmont Region. The New Zealand Childhood Cancer Study was funded by the Health Research Council of NZ, the NZ Lottery Grants Board, the Otago Medical School (Faculty Bequest Funds), the Cancer Society of NZ, the Otago Medical Research Foundation, and the A.B. de Lautour Charitable Trust. The Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study (NCCLS) is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA (grants P01 ES018172, R01 ES09137, and P42-ES04705), Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), USA (grant RD83451101), and the CHILDREN with CANCER (CwC), UK (former Children with Leukaemia), for data collection. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, USEPA, or the CwC. The United Kingdom Childhood Cancer Study (UKCCS) is sponsored and administered by Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. The researchers are independent from the funders. COG: The E14 and E15 cohorts of the Children’s Oncology Group were funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA (Grants R01CA049450 (E14) and R01CA048051 (E15)) and The Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Minneapolis, MN.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Childhood
  • Leukemia
  • Meta-analysis
  • Paint
  • Parental occupation
  • Pooled analysis


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