The study focused on exposures to environmental pollutants during pregnancy because many childhood cancers develop in utero.
The increased risk associated with such environments included lymphoblastic leukemia, retinoblastoma (a rare type of eye cancer), and germ cell tumors in reproductive organs. Increases were consistent during all stages of pregnancy and during the first year.
Though we have known for years about the higher risk of asthma development linked to children who live near highways, and have more recently learned of the elevated health risks associated with going to school near heavily polluted areas, this study was the first to uncover evidence of such conditions contributing to cancer.
“This is the first study that’s ever been reported on air pollution as it relates to rarer pediatric cancers, so it needs to be replicated in other states or in other countries,” Dr. Heck continues.
[divider] What other unknown health risks are our kids exposed to? Can we afford to simply accept the worrying signs and troubling evidence that is now linked to the everyday activities of our kids?