Brain tumors and environmental risk factors in young people- A literature review

2017 edition

Angela Zumel Marne

Background: Little is known about the brain tumors (BT) etiology apart from genetic factors and ionizing radiation exposure. The main objective was to review the scientific literature on the association of environmental factors exposures. Methods: PUBMED, Embase, Cochrane Library, Scopus, Web of science, IME databases were searched to identify the publications. Results: Sixty-five publications were identified on environmental exposures. The most of exposures suggested an increased risk of BT, specifically, for cadmium exposure; the presence of nitrates and nitrites in the water consumption, the  environmental tobacco smoke, specifically for mothers passive smokers during pregnancy; living in areas with air pollution; the home use of pesticides (for plants or home treatment); living on a farm with farm animals; the exposures in parental occupations; the meat consumption during pregnancy diet; and other factors like socioeconomic inequalities. Nevertheless, a lot of articles did not found significant associations with these exposures. Or even, some of them found inverse associations like living on a farm, some specific parental occupation or vitamins use and fruits consumption included in the diet. Conclusion: Results for most environmental risk factors considered here are inconclusive. Nevertheless, articles suggest that exposure to some environmental factors may increase the risk of childhood brain tumors. More studies are needed to assess this association.