Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 8, pp 1197–1204

Maternal exposure to household chemicals and risk of infant leukemia: a report from the Children’s Oncology Group

  • Megan E. Slater
  • Amy M. Linabery
  • Logan G. Spector
  • Kimberly J. Johnson
  • Joanne M. Hilden
  • Nyla A. Heerema
  • Leslie L. Robison
  • Julie A. Ross
Original paper

Abstract

Objective

Utilizing data from the largest study to date, we examined associations between maternal preconception/prenatal exposure to household chemicals and infant acute leukemia.

Methods

We present data from a Children’s Oncology Group case–control study of 443 infants (<1 year of age) diagnosed with acute leukemia [including acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML)] between 1996 and 2006 and 324 population controls. Mothers recalled household chemical use 1 month before and throughout pregnancy. We used unconditional logistic regression adjusted for birth year, maternal age, and race/ethnicity to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

We did not find evidence for an association between infant leukemia and eight of nine chemical categories. However, exposure to petroleum products during pregnancy was associated with AML (OR = 2.54; 95% CI:1.40–4.62) and leukemia without mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) gene rearrangements (“MLL−”) (OR = 2.69; 95% CI: 1.47–4.93). No associations were observed for exposure in the month before pregnancy.

Conclusions

Gestational exposure to petroleum products was associated with infant leukemia, particularly AML, and MLL− cases. Benzene is implicated as a potential carcinogen within this exposure category, but a clear biological mechanism has yet to be elucidated.

Keywords

Epidemiology Infants Leukemia Chemical Prenatal 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan E. Slater
    • 1
  • Amy M. Linabery
    • 1
  • Logan G. Spector
    • 1
  • Kimberly J. Johnson
    • 1
  • Joanne M. Hilden
    • 2
  • Nyla A. Heerema
    • 3
  • Leslie L. Robison
    • 4
  • Julie A. Ross
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Department of PediatricsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. VincentIndianapolisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PathologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  4. 4.Department of Epidemiology and Cancer ControlSt. Jude Children’s Research HospitalMemphisUSA
  5. 5.University of Minnesota Cancer CenterMinneapolisUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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