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Risk of childhood leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after parental occupational exposure to solvents and other agents: the SETIL Study
  1. Lucia Miligi1,
  2. Alessandra Benvenuti1,
  3. Stefano Mattioli2,
  4. Alberto Salvan3,
  5. Giulio Andrea Tozzi4,
  6. Alessandra Ranucci5,
  7. Patrizia Legittimo1,
  8. Roberto Rondelli6,
  9. Luigi Bisanti7,
  10. Paola Zambon8,
  11. Santina Cannizzaro9,
  12. Ursula Kirchmayer10,
  13. Pierluigi Cocco11,
  14. Egidio Celentano12,
  15. Giorgio Assennato13,
  16. Domenico Franco Merlo14,
  17. Paola Mosciatti15,
  18. Liliana Minelli16,
  19. Marina Cuttini17,
  20. Valeria Torregrossa18,
  21. Susanna Lagorio19,
  22. Riccardo Haupt20,
  23. Serena Risica21,
  24. Alessandro Polichetti21,
  25. SETIL Working Group,
  26. Corrado Magnani5
  1. 1Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Unit, ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, Florence, Italy
  2. 2Section of Occupational Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Geriatrics and Nephrology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  3. 3Istituto di analisi dei sistemi ed informatica "A.Ruberti", IASI-CNR, Rome, Italy (retired)
  4. 4Occupational Health and Safety Local Unit, S.Pre.S.A.L, Az. Unità Sanitaria Locale 3, Genoa, Italy
  5. 5Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Department of Translational Medicine, CPO Piemonte and University of Eastern Piedmont, Torino, Italy
  6. 6Paediatric Oncology-Haematology, Lalla Seràgnoli, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy
  7. 7Servizio di Epidemiologia, ASL Milano, Milano, Italy
  8. 8Registro Tumori del Veneto, Università degli Studi Padova, Istituto Oncologico Veneto IRCCS, Padova, Italy
  9. 9Lega Italiana per la Lotta contro i Tumori Onlus, Sez. Provinciale di Ragusa, Ragusa Ragusa Ibla, Italy
  10. 10Department of Epidemiology, Regional Health Authority, Lazio Region, Rome, Italy
  11. 11Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Medicina del Lavoro, Università di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
  12. 12Servizio di Epidemiologia, Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Napoli, Napoli, Italy
  13. 13Direzione Generale, ARPA Puglia, Bari, Italy
  14. 14Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Clinical Trials, IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino - IST, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genova, Italy
  15. 15Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimantale e di Sanità Pubblica, Università di Camerino, Camerino, Italy
  16. 16Dipartimento di Specialità Medico Chirurgiche e Sanità Pubblica, Sezione di Sanità Pubblica, Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
  17. 17Unità di Epidemiologia, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù, Roma, Italy
  18. 18Dipartimento di Scienze per la Promozione della Salute Sez, Igiene-Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia Università degli Studi di Palermo, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico "P.Giaccone", Palermo, Italy
  19. 19Cancer Epidemiology Unit, National Centre of Epidemiology, National Institute of Health, Rome, Italy
  20. 20Epidemiology and Biostatistic Section, Istituto Giannina Gaslini, Genova, Italy
  21. 21Dipartimento di Tecnologie e Salute, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Roma, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lucia Miligi, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Unit, ISPO Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, Ponte Nuovo—Padiglione Mario Fiori, Via delle Oblate 2, Florence 50141, Italy; l.miligi{at}


Aim In the context of the Italian Multicentric Epidemiological Study on Risk Factors for Childhood Leukaemia and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (SETIL), the risk of childhood cancer was investigated in relation to parental occupational exposures.

Methods All cases of childhood leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) in children aged 0–10 years were identified. Controls were chosen at random from the local population in each region. Parents were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The collected data were blindly reviewed by expert industrial hygienists in order to estimate exposure to a list of agents. Statistical analyses were performed for each agent using unconditional multivariable logistic regression models, taking into account timing of exposure.

Results 683 cases of acute childhood leukaemia, 97 cases of NHL and 1044 controls were identified. Increased risk of childhood leukaemia was found for maternal exposure to aliphatic (OR 4.3) or aromatic hydrocarbons (OR 3.8) in the preconception period, and for paternal exposure to diesel exhaust (OR 1.4), lead exposure (OR 1.4) and mineral oils (OR 1.7). Risk of NHL appeared to be related to paternal exposure to oxygenated solvents (OR 2.5) and petrol exhaust (OR 2.2).

Conclusions We found increased risk for childhood leukaemia associated with maternal occupational exposure to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, particularly in the preconception period; increased risks were also observed for paternal exposure to diesel exhaust fumes, mineral oils and lead. The risk of NHL appeared to be related to paternal exposure to oxygenated solvent and petrol exhausts.

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