Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 1269–1278

Exposure to pesticides and the risk of childhood brain tumors

  • Kathryn R. Greenop
  • Susan Peters
  • Helen D. Bailey
  • Lin Fritschi
  • John Attia
  • Rodney J. Scott
  • Deborah C. Glass
  • Nicholas H. de Klerk
  • Frank Alvaro
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
  • Elizabeth Milne
Original paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-013-0205-1

Cite this article as:
Greenop, K.R., Peters, S., Bailey, H.D. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2013) 24: 1269. doi:10.1007/s10552-013-0205-1

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has suggested positive associations between parental or childhood exposure to pesticides and risk of childhood brain tumors (CBT). This Australian case–control study of CBT investigated whether exposures to pesticides before pregnancy, during pregnancy and during childhood, were associated with an increased risk.

Methods

Cases were recruited from 10 pediatric oncology centers, and controls by random-digit dialing, frequency matched on age, sex, and State of residence. Exposure data were collected by written questionnaires and telephone interviews. Data were analyzed by unconditional logistic regression.

Results

The odds ratios (ORs) for professional pest control treatments in the home in the year before the index pregnancy, during the pregnancy, and after the child’s birth were 1.54 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 1.07, 2.22), 1.52 (95 % CI: 0.99, 2.34) and 1.04 (95 % CI: 0.75, 1.43), respectively. ORs for treatments exclusively before pregnancy and during pregnancy were 1.90 (95 % CI: 1.08, 3.36) and 1.02 (95 % CI: 0.35, 3.00), respectively. The OR for the father being home during the treatment was 1.79 (95 % CI: 0.85, 3.80). The OR for paternal occupational exposure in the year before the child’s conception was 1.36 (95 % CI: 0.66, 2.80). ORs for prenatal home pesticide exposure were elevated for low- and high-grade gliomas; effect estimates for other CBT subtypes varied and lacked precision.

Conclusions

These results suggest that preconception pesticide exposure, and possibly exposure during pregnancy, is associated with an increased CBT risk. It may be advisable for both parents to avoid pesticide exposure during this time.

Keywords

Brain tumorsCase–control studiesChildCancerPesticidesInsecticides

Supplementary material

10552_2013_205_MOESM1_ESM.doc (60 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 60 kb)
10552_2013_205_MOESM2_ESM.doc (42 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 43 kb)
10552_2013_205_MOESM3_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOC 34 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn R. Greenop
    • 1
  • Susan Peters
    • 2
  • Helen D. Bailey
    • 1
  • Lin Fritschi
    • 2
  • John Attia
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rodney J. Scott
    • 4
    • 5
  • Deborah C. Glass
    • 6
  • Nicholas H. de Klerk
    • 1
  • Frank Alvaro
    • 7
    • 9
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
    • 8
  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchUniversity of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.Western Australian Institute for Medical ResearchUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Hunter Medical Research Institute, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  5. 5.Hunter Area Pathology Service, HNEHealthNewcastleAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology and Preventive MedicineMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  7. 7.Department of Paediatric OncologyJohn Hunter Children’s HospitalNewcastleAustralia
  8. 8.Sydney School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  9. 9.School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia