Limited progress has been made in identifying the causes of leukemia. A major causal role of nonionizing radiation, specific occupations, and common lifestyle variables have been dismissed. An environmental chemical might be responsible for one or more forms of leukemia, but it is unlikely that such a factor(s) could explain more than a small fraction of leukemia cases. It seems more likely that an unidentified virus or another biological agent underlies the occurrence of many, even most, cases of leukemia, particularly childhood leukemia.
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