Based on findings of a recent study researchers have linked breathing cancer-causing compounds during pregnancy to an increased risk of childhood cancer among offspring. They also believe that nearly all childhood cancers can probably be traced back to a mother's inhalation of noxious substances.
The study compared a chemical emissions map with all children age 15 and younger who died from leukemia and other cancers between 1968 and 1980. Results showed kids who were born within a one-kilometer radius of emissions hotspots were two- to four-times more likely to succumb to childhood cancer than those born outside of the hotspots.
The highest risks were found for those born near hotspots for the non-methane volatile organic compound 1,3-butadiene and carbon monoxide. Some other substances were particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (which come from the burning of oils, particularly engine oils), other non-methane volatile organic compounds besides 1,3-butadiene (such as benzene and benz(a)pyrene), and dioxins.
Researchers conclude saying that results of their study point to a need for new policy regulations aimed at controlling cancer-causing atmospheric emissions, particularly 1,3-butadiene, along with a redirection of childhood cancer research to determine the exact timing of chemically determined air mediated cancer initiations.