Although there is no strongly consistent evidence, a number of studies have found associations between childhood cancer and parental agricultural occupations or exposures. A large international study found associations between childhood brain tumors and various farm-related activities including maternal exposure to farm animals, working on a farm and pesticide exposure. In the same study, maternal exposure to pigs was associated with a 4-fold increase in risk of primitive neuroectodermal tumors. Other studies have found similar results. Chemicals, such as those found in a farm environment, and microbes that could be found in farm animals have been hypothesized to cause childhood brain tumors. However, there is no direct evidence for this association (42-44).
Occupational parental pesticide use is associated with leukemia, childhood brain cancer, Wilm's tumor, and Ewing's sarcoma. Use of pesticides in gardens has been associated with childhood leukemia in Northern Germany and other countries. Other studies have found no association with paternal exposures to pesticides and childhood cancer. A large study of males born to parents engaged in agricultural activity between 1952 to 1991 in Norway found specific fertilizers were associated with an increased rate of testicular cancer, in particular, seminoma. Renal cancer has been associated with paternal exposure to pesticides in one small study (45-50).
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