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Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Jan;118(1):33-41. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0900966.

Residential pesticides and childhood leukemia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. mturner@uottawa.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous observational epidemiologic studies examining the relationship between residential pesticide exposures during critical exposure time windows (preconception, pregnancy, and childhood) and childhood leukemia.

DATA SOURCES:

Searches of MEDLINE and other electronic databases were performed (1950-2009). Reports were included if they were original epidemiologic studies of childhood leukemia, followed a case-control or cohort design, and assessed at least one index of residential/household pesticide exposure/use. No language criteria were applied.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Study selection, data abstraction, and quality assessment were performed by two independent reviewers. Random effects models were used to obtain summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

DATA SYNTHESIS:

Of the 17 identified studies, 15 were included in the meta-analysis. Exposures during pregnancy to unspecified residential pesticides (summary OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.13-2.11; I2 = 66%), insecticides (OR = 2.05; 95% CI, 1.80-2.32; I2 = 0%), and herbicides (OR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.20-2.16; I2 = 0%) were positively associated with childhood leukemia. Exposures during childhood to unspecified residential pesticides (OR = 1.38; 95% CI, 1.12-1.70; I2 = 4%) and insecticides (OR = 1.61; 95% CI, 1.33-1.95; I2 = 0%) were also positively associated with childhood leukemia, but there was no association with herbicides.

CONCLUSIONS:

Positive associations were observed between childhood leukemia and residential pesticide exposures. Further work is needed to confirm previous findings based on self-report, to examine potential exposure-response relationships, and to assess specific pesticides and toxicologically related subgroups of pesticides in more detail.

PMID:
20056585
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2831964
Free PMC Article

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