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Cancer Causes Control. 1999 Dec;10(6):539-49.

Neuroblastoma and parental occupation.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA.



We evaluated parental occupation and the risk of neuroblastoma using data from a large case-control study conducted by the Children's Cancer Group and the Pediatric Oncology Group.


We compared the distribution of 73 paternal and 57 maternal occupational groups among 504 newly diagnosed cases of neuroblastoma and individually matched controls obtained by telephone random digit dialing in the United States and Canada.


An increased risk of neuroblastoma was found for fathers employed as broadcast, telephone and dispatch operators (odds ratio [OR] = 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.7-50.9), electrical power installers and power plant operators (OR = 2.7; CI = 0.9-8.1), landscapers and groundskeepers (OR = 2.3; CI = 1.0-5.2), and painters (OR = 2.1; CI = 0.9-4.8). Elevated odds ratios were found for mothers employed as farmers and farm workers (OR = 2.2; CI = 0.6-8.8), florists and garden store workers (OR = 2.4; CI = 0.6-9.9), hairdressers and barbers (OR = 2.8; CI = 1.2-6.3), electric power installers and power plant operators, and sailors, fishers, and railroad workers. No increase in risk was found for other paternal occupations previously associated, including electricians, electrical equipment assemblers and repairers (OR = 1.1; CI = 0.6-2.0), or welders (OR = 0.5; CI = 0.1-1.6).


The study reinforced some prior evidence of increased risks in electrical, farming and gardening, and painting occupations, but failed to confirm other previously reported associations. Further analyses of exposure to electromagnetic fields, metals, solvents, and pesticides are currently under way.

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