Paternal Occupational Exposure to Pesticides or Herbicides as Risk Factors for Cancer in Children and Young Adults: A Case-Control Study From the North of England

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Researchers in numerous studies have suggested that preconception paternal occupational exposures to various substances, including pesticides and herbicides, may be involved in the etiology of childhood cancers. Using data from the Northern Region Young Persons' Malignant Disease Registry, the authors investigated whether paternal occupations likely to involve such exposures, as recorded at the time of a child's birth, were associated with children's cancer risk. The authors matched cases (n = 4,723), on sex and year of birth, to controls from 2 independent sources: (1) all other patients from the registry with a different cancer and (2) 100 cancer-free individuals per case from the Cumbrian Births Database. An inverse association existed, particularly in males, between lymphoid leukemia and paternal occupations with likely exposures to pesticides and/or herbicides. However, this was not significant after stratifying by residential status (urban versus rural). Results do not support a role for preconception paternal occupational exposures to pesticides or herbicides in the etiology of childhood cancer.

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