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Parental occupational exposures and Ewing's sarcoma.

A case-control study of Ewing's sarcoma (ES) was conducted to search for occupational exposures associated with ES. The study consisted of 196 cases and 196 random-digit controls matched on geographical region, gender, ethnic origin and birth date. A questionnaire was administered to mothers of participants to obtain information on medical conditions, medications, and parental occupations during and after the index pregnancy. An occupational exposure expert coded jobs and industries for possible and probable exposure to selected occupational hazards. Risk of ES was increased with probable parental exposure to wood dusts during their usual occupation post pregnancy (odds ration [OR] = 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1-9.2). Other exposures, including a priori suspected risk factors such as exposure to pesticides and farm animals, were not significantly associated with ES. A history of household pesticide extermination was associated with ES among boys aged 15 or younger (OR = 3.0; 95% CI = 1.1-8.1), but not among girls or older boys. Our results suggest that earlier reports of associations of ES with parental farm employment may have been describing risks associated with organic dusts encountered when working on a farm, rather than agricultural exposures or other farming related exposures.

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