Purpose: It has been suggested that parental occupational paint exposure around the time of conception or pregnancy increases the risk of childhood leukemia in the offspring.
Methods: We obtained individual level data from 13 case-control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium. Occupational data were harmonized to a compatible format. Meta-analyses of study-specific odds ratios (ORs) were undertaken, as well as pooled analyses of individual data using unconditional logistic regression.
Results: Using individual data from fathers of 8,185 cases and 14,210 controls, the pooled OR for paternal exposure around conception and risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was 0.93 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.76, 1.14]. Analysis of data from 8,156 ALL case mothers and 14,568 control mothers produced a pooled OR of 0.81 (95% CI 0.39, 1.68) for exposure during pregnancy. For acute myeloid leukemia (AML), the pooled ORs for paternal and maternal exposure were 0.96 (95% CI 0.65, 1.41) and 1.31 (95% CI 0.38, 4.47), respectively, based on data from 1,231 case and 11,392 control fathers and 1,329 case and 12,141 control mothers. Heterogeneity among the individual studies ranged from low to modest.
Conclusions: Null findings for paternal exposure for both ALL and AML are consistent with previous reports. Despite the large sample size, results for maternal exposure to paints in pregnancy were based on small numbers of exposed. Overall, we found no evidence that parental occupational exposure to paints increases the risk of leukemia in the offspring, but further data on home exposure are needed.