Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children, with an expected 11,060 childhood cancer cases in 2019. The effects of pediatric cancers extend beyond early life, with survivors having diminished health status and a greater risk for chronic health problems in comparison to the general population. In adults, it is clearly established that occupational exposure to very high levels of specific agents has increased cancer risks. Environmental toxins are strongly suspected by the public to contribute etiologically to pediatric cancers, and it is important that the environmental determinants of pediatric cancers are systematically investigated to support or refute these links. The proposed project is a population-based case-control study of exposure to industrial pollution in pregnancy and early childhood in relation to childhood cancer development. We propose to take cases from two NIH-funded studies (the Air Pollution and Childhood Cancers study and the Pesticide Exposure and Childhood Cancers study) and examine residential proximity to sources of industrial pollution; we have previously reconstructed full residential histories for a portion of our sample. Controls were selected at random from California birth records (N=29,445 cases of specified childhood cancer types, 983,440 controls). Exposure measurements will be taken from the Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The exposures of primary interest in the proposed study include suspected and established carcinogens which are amongst the most commonly released toxic agents by industries in California. We will focus on agents of particular interest for carcinogenic review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The study's wealth of existing data on other environmental exposures and potential confounders, in addition to the use of GIS for development of detailed exposure metrics, will enable the investigators to make an actionable contribution to the current state of knowledge regarding environmental causes of pediatric cancers.
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children, with few established causes. Our aim is to examine exposure to industrial pollutants in the environment in relation to pediatric cancer risk, focusing on high priority agents for carcinogenic review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.