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University of California-Berkeley

Superfund Research Program

Chemical Exposures and Leukemia Risk

Project Leader: Patricia A. Buffler
Grant Number: P42ES004705
Funding Period: 1995 - 2011

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Project Summary (2000-2006)

This project is extending a case-control study of childhood leukemia that is being conducted in the San Francisco Bay and Central Valley areas. Researchers are directly measuring environmental and chemical exposures, and evaluating the interaction of environmental exposures with genetic susceptibility. Approximately 30-40% of the combined study population is Hispanic. Scientists are documenting the potential for household exposures by sampling dust on the floor surfaces in a subset of homes of cases and controls. The objective is to identify the differences in concentrations of pesticides, metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, cotinine, polychlorinated biphenyls, and ethylenethiourea in the homes of cases and controls. Further, a case-case analysis is identifying if the cases that are exhibiting chromosomal translocations live in homes with higher concentrations of target compounds than cases that do not have such translocations. These analyses are determining whether leukemic children with common genetic changes experience common exposures, and whether these genetic changes have approximately the same temporal occurrence. Finally, the researchers are evaluating whether children with and without leukemia differ with respect to susceptibility to leukemia.

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