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CHILDHOOD LEUKAEMIA AND ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE TO HYDROCARBONS
Despite evidence linking acute leukaemia in adults to occupational and environmental exposures, including benzene, few risk factors have been identified for acute leukaemia in children. In this study from France (p. 773) Steffen and colleagues used data from interviews with parents to examine associations of possible environmental sources of hydrocarbons with acute childhood leukaemia among 280 cases and 285 controls. They report that children living near petrol stations or automobile repair shops had a substantially higher risk of acute leukaemia (odds ratio 4.0, 95% confidence interval 1.5 to 10.3), which increased with the length of residence near these facilities. There was no association with living near other types of business that might use hydrocarbons, living near high traffic roads, or with mothers’ occupations. Although the authors suggest that confirmation is …
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