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04-03-2015 | Pediatric leukemia | Article

Dust metal loadings and the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia


We evaluated the relationship between the risk of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and the levels of metals in carpet dust. A dust sample was collected from the homes of 142 ALL cases and 187 controls participating in the California Childhood Leukemia Study using a high volume small surface sampler (2001–2006). Samples were analyzed using microwave-assisted acid digestion in combination with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, tin, tungsten, and zinc. Eight metals were detected in at least 85% of the case and control homes; tungsten was detected in <15% of homes. Relationships between dust metal loadings (μg metal per m2 carpet) and ALL risk were modeled using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for the child's age, sex, and race/ethnicity and confounders, including household annual income. A doubling of dust metal loadings was not associated with significant changes in ALL risk (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): arsenic: 0.96 (0.86, 1.07), cadmium: 0.92 (0.81, 1.05), chromium: 1.01 (0.90, 1.14), copper: 0.97 (0.91, 1.03), lead: 1.01 (0.93, 1.10), nickel: 0.95 (0.82, 1.09), tin: 0.96 (0.86, 1.08), and zinc: 0.94 (0.84, 1.05)). Our findings do not support the hypothesis that metals in carpet dust are risk factors for childhood ALL.

Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 2015; 25: 593–598. doi:10.1038/jes.2015.9

Authors: Todd P Whitehead, Mary H Ward, Joanne S Colt, Gary Dahl, Jonathan Ducore, Kyndaron Reinier, Robert B Gunier, S Katharine Hammond, Stephen M Rappaport and Catherine Metayer

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