Significant elevations in the risk of childhood leukemia have been associated with environmental exposure to gasoline; aromatic hydrocarbons from refinery pollution, petroleum waste sites, and mobile sources (automobile exhaust); paints, paint products, and thinners; and secondary cigarette smoke in the home. These higher risks have also been associated with parental exposure to benzene, gasoline, motor vehicle-related jobs, painting, and rubber solvents. These exposures and jobs have 1 common chemical exposure-benzene, a recognized cause of acute leukemia in adults-and raise the question of whether children represent a subpopulation in which a higher risk of leukemia is associated with very low level exposure to environmental benzene.
Keywords: benzene; childhood leukemia; gasoline; gasoline stations; residential exposure.
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