Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 72, Issue 2, pp 133–147

Beauty product-related exposures and childhood brain tumors in seven countries: results from the SEARCH International Brain Tumor Study

  • J. T. Efird
  • E. A. Holly
  • S. Cordier
  • B. A. Mueller
  • F. Lubin
  • G. Filippini
  • R. Peris-Bonet
  • M. McCredie
  • A. Arslan
  • P. Bracci
  • S. Preston-Martin
Clinical Study

DOI: 10.1007/s11060-004-3121-0

Cite this article as:
Efird, J.T., Holly, E.A., Cordier, S. et al. J Neurooncol (2005) 72: 133. doi:10.1007/s11060-004-3121-0


Data from 1218 cases of childhood brain tumors (CBT) diagnosed between 1976 and 1994 and 2223 matched controls from the general population were included in an analysis of maternal beauty product exposure and beauty-related employment in 9 centers in 7 countries. A 50% increased odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0–2.1] for CBT was observed among children of mothers who were exposed via personal use of and/or possible ambient contact with beauty products during the 5 years preceding the index child’s birth compared with children of mothers never exposed to beauty products during this time period. Overall maternal personal use of hair-coloring agents in the month before or during the pregnancy of the index child’s birth was not associated with CBT (OR = 1.0, CI = 0.83–1.3) or with astroglial (OR = 1.1, CI = 0.85–1.4), PNET (OR = 1.0, CI = 0.71–1.5) and other glial subtypes (OR = 1.0, CI = 0.62–1.0). Similarly, no statistically increased ORs or discernable pattern of risk estimates were observed for period of use or for number of applications per year for maternal personal use of hair-coloring agents overall or by histologic type. Among children born on or after 1980, increased ORs for CBT were associated with maternal non-work-related exposure to any beauty products (OR = 2.6, CI = 1.2–5.9), hair-dyes (OR = 11, CI = 1.2–90), and hair sprays (OR = 3.4, CI = 1.0–11). No overall increased OR for CBT was observed among children of mothers employed in beauty-related jobs during the 5 years preceding the index child’s birth compared with those who reported no beauty-related employment. In general, other specific beauty product-related exposures were not associated with increased ORs for CBT. Data from our study provide little evidence of an increased risk for CBT with mothers’ exposures to beauty products.


beauty products childhood brain tumors foundation face cream hair color hair spray permanent waves 





childhood brain tumors


confidence intervals


electromagnetic fields


4-ethoxy-M-phenylenediamine sulfate


International Classification of Disease-Oncology


International Classification of Occupations






N-nitroso compounds




odds ratio


primitive neuroectodermal tumors


standard deviation


Surveillance of Environmental Aspects Related to Cancer in Humans

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. T. Efird
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. A. Holly
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. Cordier
    • 4
  • B. A. Mueller
    • 5
  • F. Lubin
    • 6
  • G. Filippini
    • 7
  • R. Peris-Bonet
    • 8
  • M. McCredie
    • 9
    • 10
  • A. Arslan
    • 11
  • P. Bracci
    • 2
  • S. Preston-Martin
    • 12
  1. 1.John A. Burns School of MedicineUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Research and PolicyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  4. 4.INSERM U435RennesFrance
  5. 5.Fred Hutchison Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical CenterSackler School of MedicineTel-HashomerIsrael
  7. 7.Neuroepidemiology Research UnitNational Neurological Institute ‘C Besta’MilanItaly
  8. 8.Registro Nacional de Tumores InfantilesInstituto Lopez Pinero, CSIC-Universitat de ValenciaValenciaSpain
  9. 9.Department of Preventive and Social MedicineUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  10. 10.Previously Epidemiology Research UnitNew South Wales Cancer CouncilSydneyAustralia
  11. 11.International Agency for Research on CancerLyonFrance
  12. 12.Department of Preventive Medicine, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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