Childhood brain tumors (CBT) are the leading
cause of cancer death in children, yet their etiology remains
largely unknown. This study investigated whether house-
hold exposure to paints and floor treatments and parental
occupational painting were associated with CBT risk in a
population-based case?control study conducted between
2005 and 2010.
Cases were identified through all ten Australian
pediatric oncology centers, and controls via nationwide
random-digit dialing, frequency matched to cases on age,
sex, and state of residence. Data were obtained from par-
ents in mailed questionnaires and telephone interviews.
Information on domestic painting and floor treatments, and
parental occupational exposure to paint, in key periods
relating to the index pregnancy and childhood was obtained
for 306 cases and 950 controls. Data were analyzed using
unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for frequency
matching variables and potential confounders.
Overall, we found little evidence that parental, fetal,
or childhood exposure to home painting or floor treatments
was associated with risk of CBT. There was, though, some
evidence of a positive association between childhood expo-
sure to indoor painting and risk of high-grade glioma [odds
ratio (OR) 3.31, 95 confidence interval (CI) 1.29, 8.52]
based on very small numbers. The OR for the association
between CBT and paternal occupational exposure to paint
any time before the pregnancy was 1.32 (95 CI 0.90, 1.92),
which is consistent with the results of other studies.
Overall, we found little evidence of associ-
ations between household exposure to paint and the risk of
CBT in any of the time periods investigated.