Background: Parental occupational exposures have been associated with childhood brain tumours (CBT), but results are inconsistent. Few studies have studied CBT risk and parental solvent exposure, suggesting a possible association. We examined the association between CBT and parental occupational exposure to solvents in a case-control study. Methods: Parents of 306 cases and 950 controls completed detailed occupational histories. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for both maternal and paternal exposure to benzene, other aromatics, aliphatics and chlorinated solvents in key time periods relative to the birth of their child. Adjustments were made for matching variables (child's age, sex and state of residence), best parental education and occupational exposure to diesel exhaust. Results: An increased risk of CBT was observed with maternal occupational exposures to chlorinated solvents (OR=8.59, 95% CI 0.94-78.9) any time before birth. Paternal exposure to solvents in the year before conception was associated with an increased CBT risk: OR=1.55 (95% CI 0.99-2.43). This increased risk appeared to be mainly attributable to exposure to aromatic solvents: OR=2.72 (95% CI 0.94-7.86) for benzene and OR=1.76 (95% CI 1.10-2.82) for other aromatics. Conclusions: Our results indicate that parental occupational exposures to solvents may be related to an increased risk of CBT. © 2014 Cancer Research UK.