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Domestic radon exposure and risk of childhood cancer: a prospective census-based cohort study


Hauri, Dimitri; Spycher, Ben; Huss, Anke; Zimmermann, Frank; Grotzer, Michael; von der Weid, Nicolas; Weber, Damien; Spoerri, Adrian; Kuehni, Claudia E; Röösli, Martin (2013). Domestic radon exposure and risk of childhood cancer: a prospective census-based cohort study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 121(10):1239-1244.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In contrast with established evidence linking high doses of ionizing radiation with childhood cancer, research on low-dose ionizing radiation and childhood cancer has produced inconsistent results.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between domestic radon exposure and childhood cancers, particularly leukemia and central nervous system (CNS) tumors.
METHODS: We conducted a nationwide census-based cohort study including all children < 16 years of age living in Switzerland on 5 December 2000, the date of the 2000 census. Follow-up lasted until the date of diagnosis, death, emigration, a child's 16th birthday, or 31 December 2008. Domestic radon levels were estimated for each individual home address using a model developed and validated based on approximately 45,000 measurements taken throughout Switzerland. Data were analyzed with Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for child age, child sex, birth order, parents' socioeconomic status, environmental gamma radiation, and period effects.
RESULTS: In total, 997 childhood cancer cases were included in the study. Compared with children exposed to a radon concentration below the median (< 77.7 Bq/m3), adjusted hazard ratios for children with exposure ≥ the 90th percentile (≥ 139.9 Bq/m3) were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.74, 1.16) for all cancers, 0.95 (95% CI: 0.63, 1.43) for all leukemias, 0.90 (95% CI: 0.56, 1.43) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 1.05 (95% CI: 0.68, 1.61) for CNS tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: We did not find evidence that domestic radon exposure is associated with childhood cancer, despite relatively high radon levels in Switzerland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: In contrast with established evidence linking high doses of ionizing radiation with childhood cancer, research on low-dose ionizing radiation and childhood cancer has produced inconsistent results.
OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between domestic radon exposure and childhood cancers, particularly leukemia and central nervous system (CNS) tumors.
METHODS: We conducted a nationwide census-based cohort study including all children < 16 years of age living in Switzerland on 5 December 2000, the date of the 2000 census. Follow-up lasted until the date of diagnosis, death, emigration, a child's 16th birthday, or 31 December 2008. Domestic radon levels were estimated for each individual home address using a model developed and validated based on approximately 45,000 measurements taken throughout Switzerland. Data were analyzed with Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for child age, child sex, birth order, parents' socioeconomic status, environmental gamma radiation, and period effects.
RESULTS: In total, 997 childhood cancer cases were included in the study. Compared with children exposed to a radon concentration below the median (< 77.7 Bq/m3), adjusted hazard ratios for children with exposure ≥ the 90th percentile (≥ 139.9 Bq/m3) were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.74, 1.16) for all cancers, 0.95 (95% CI: 0.63, 1.43) for all leukemias, 0.90 (95% CI: 0.56, 1.43) for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and 1.05 (95% CI: 0.68, 1.61) for CNS tumors.
CONCLUSIONS: We did not find evidence that domestic radon exposure is associated with childhood cancer, despite relatively high radon levels in Switzerland.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:October 2013
Deposited On:19 Nov 2013 16:45
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 11:47
Publisher:The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
ISSN:0091-6765
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306500
PubMed ID:23942326

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