Potential Residential Exposure to Toxics Release Inventory Chemicals during Pregnancy and Childhood Brain Cancer

air emissions
brain cancer
Toxics Release Inventory
NAICS/Industry Codes:562112 Hazardous Waste Collection

Abstract:BACKGROUND: Although the susceptibility of the developing fetus to various chemical exposures is well documented, the role of environmental chemicals in childhood brain cancer etiology is not well understood. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to evaluate whether mothers of childhood brain cancer cases had greater potential residential exposure to Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemicals than control mothers during pregnancy. METHODS: We included 382 brain cancer cases diagnosed at < 10 years of age from 1993 through 1997 who were identified from four statewide cancer registries. One-to-one matched controls were selected by random-digit dialing. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted. Using residential history of mothers during pregnancy, we measured proximity to TRI facilities and exposure index, including mass and chemicals released. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using conditional logistic regression to estimate brain cancer risk associated with TRI chemicals. RESULTS: Increased risk was observed for mothers living within 1 mi of a TRI facility (OR = 1.66; 95% CI, 1.11–2.48) and living within 1 mi of a facility releasing carcinogens (OR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.05–2.82) for having children diagnosed with brain cancer before 5 years of age, compared to living > 1 mi from a facility. Taking into account the mass and toxicity of chemical releases, we found a nonsignificant increase in risk (OR = 1.25; 95% CI, 0.67–2.34) comparing those with the lowest versus highest exposure index. CONCLUSIONS: Risk of childhood brain cancers may be associated with living near a TRI facility; however, this is an exploratory study and further studies are needed.

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