Table of Contents
Advances in Epidemiology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 323189, 7 pages
Research Article

Paternal Occupational Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals as a Risk Factor for Leukaemia in Children: A Case-Control Study from the North of England

1Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, Sir James Spence Institute, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK
2Departments of Medicine and Paediatrics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada

Received 23 April 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 16 July 2014

Academic Editor: Peter N. Lee

Copyright © 2014 Mark S. Pearce et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Occupations with exposures to a variety of chemicals, including those thought to be potential endocrine disruptors, have been associated with an increased risk of leukaemia in offspring. We investigated whether an association exists between paternal occupations at birth involving such exposures and risk of leukaemia in offspring. Cases ( ) were matched, on sex and year of birth, to controls from two independent sources, one other cancers, one cancer-free live births. Paternal occupations at birth were classified, using an occupational exposure matrix, as having “very unlikely,” “possible,” or “likely” exposure to six groups of potential endocrine-disrupting chemicals. There was a significantly increased risk of acute nonlymphocytic leukaemia (ANLL) for polychlorinated organic compounds (OR 1.95, 95% CI 1.08–3.54) only in comparison with cancer-free controls, and for phthalates (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.00–2.61) only with registry controls. A number of other, including inverse, associations were seen, but limited to one control group only. No associations were seen with likely paternal exposure to heavy metals. The associations identified in this study require further investigation, with better exposure and potential confounding (for example maternal variables) information, to evaluate the likelihood of true associations to assess whether they are real or due to chance.