Parental occupation is a suspected risk factor in the occurrence of childhood cancer. Fourteen epidemiological studies investigating a possible association are reviewed and observations are found to be contradictory. Several reports show significant associations for occupations involving exposure to hydrocarbons, lead or chemicals and occupations of social classes I and II. Conversely, some studies find no association at all. Methodological variations do not account for the contrasting results so further investigation is required.
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