Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2019;45(5):475-482    pdf full text

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3811 | Published online: 06 Mar 2019, Issue date: 01 Sep 2019

Risk of selected childhood cancers and parental employment in painting and printing industries: A register-based case‒control study in Denmark 1968–2015

by Volk J, Heck JE, Schmiegelow K, Hansen J

Objectives Parental exposures and offspring’s risk of cancer have been studied with inconsistent results. We investigated parental employment in painting and printing industries and risk of childhood leukemia, central nervous system (CNS) cancers, and prenatal cancers (acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Wilms tumor, medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, and hepatoblastoma).

Methods Using Danish registries, children aged ≤19 years diagnosed from 1968–2015 with leukemia (N=1999), CNS cancers (N=1111) or prenatal cancers (N=2704) were linked to parents and their employment history one year before birth to birth for fathers, and one year before birth to one year after for mothers. Twenty randomly selected controls per case were matched by age and sex. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated using conditional logistic regression.

Results For fathers, we found increased risks for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) consistent in painting (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.07–4.80) and printing industries (OR 2.43, 95% CI 0.94–6.23) and these industries combined (OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.14–3.87). For mothers, increased risks of CNS cancers were found for painting industries (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.10–4.95) and painting and printing combined (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.08–3.64). For fathers working in combined industries, the OR for CNS was increased (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.02–2.31), most prominently in printing industries (OR 2.09, 95% CI 1.17–3.75).

Conclusion We observed increased risks of CNS tumors in offspring after parental employment in painting and printing industries. Children of fathers employed in painting and printing industries had a two-fold increase in AML.