Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 1961–1964 | Cite as

Is there any interaction between domestic radon exposure and air pollution from traffic in relation to childhood leukemia risk?

  • Elvira Vaclavik Bräuner
  • Claus E. Andersen
  • Helle P. Andersen
  • Peter Gravesen
  • Morten Lind
  • Kaare Ulbak
  • Ole Hertel
  • Joachim Schüz
  • Ole Raaschou-NielsenEmail author
Brief report



In a recent population-based case–control study using 2,400 cases of childhood cancer, we found a statistically significant association between residential radon and acute lymphoblastic leukemia risk.


Traffic exhaust in the air enhances the risk association between radon and childhood leukemia.


We included 985 cases of childhood leukemia and 1,969 control children. We used validated models to calculate residential radon and street NOx concentrations for each home. Conditional logistic regression analyses were used to analyze the effect of radon on childhood leukemia risk within different strata of air pollution and traffic density.


The relative risk for childhood leukemia in association with a 103 Bq/m3-years increase in radon was 1.77 (1.11, 2.82) among those exposed to high levels of NOx and 1.23 (0.79, 1.91) for those exposed to low levels of NOx (p interaction, 0.17). Analyses for different morphological subtypes of leukemia and within different strata of traffic density showed a non-significant pattern of stronger associations between radon and childhood leukemia within strata of higher traffic density at the street address.


Air pollution from traffic may enhance the effect of radon on the risk of childhood leukemia. The observed tendency may also be attributed to chance.


Air pollution Radon Interaction Case–control Childhood leukemia 


Financial support

Dr Bräuner was supported by a Research Grant from The Danish Medical Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elvira Vaclavik Bräuner
    • 1
  • Claus E. Andersen
    • 2
  • Helle P. Andersen
    • 3
  • Peter Gravesen
    • 4
  • Morten Lind
    • 3
  • Kaare Ulbak
    • 5
  • Ole Hertel
    • 6
    • 7
  • Joachim Schüz
    • 1
  • Ole Raaschou-Nielsen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer SocietyCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable EnergyTechnical University of DenmarkRoskildeDenmark
  3. 3.National Survey and CadastraCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Geological Survey of Denmark and GreenlandCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.National Institute of Radiation ProtectionHerlevDenmark
  6. 6.National Environment Research InstituteAarhus UniversityRoskildeDenmark
  7. 7.Department for Environmental, Social and Spatial Change (ENSPAC)Roskilde UniversityRoskildeDenmark

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