24 July 2023

Women's contact with arsenic during work increased risk of cancer in children

The risk of cancer development was found to be increased in children whose mothers were exposed to arsenic during work. The influence of iron, nickel and chromium on cancer development was also revealed. Exposure to heavy metals in men did not affect the likelihood of cancer in the future child.

Scientists from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied the relationship of occupational exposure of parents to metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel, iron and lead with the development of cancer in children. The results of the study are published in the European Journal of Cancer.

When the expectant mother was exposed to arsenic, the risk of malignant neoplasms in the child increased by an average of 38%. The probability of lymphoma increased by 52%, central nervous system tumors by 49%, and other solid tumors by 74%.

In addition, an increased risk of lymphoma was found among children whose mothers were exposed to nickel and iron. Occupational exposure of an expectant mother to chromium increased the child's risk of developing a central nervous system tumor.

Occupational exposure to metals on the expectant father had no effect on the child's risk of developing cancer.

They analyzed data on all children born in Sweden during 55 years who were diagnosed with cancer from birth to 19 years of age. Scientists were able to find information about the presence of occupational exposure to metals on their parents. A total of 9653 women had experienced heavy metal exposure during work. Among fathers, occupational exposure to metals was found in 12,521 cases. The control group amounted to almost 450,000 people.
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