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Exposure to benzene, occupational stress, and reduced birth weight.

Authors
Chen-D; Cho-SI; Chen-C; Wang-X; Damokosh-AI; Ryan-L; Smith-TJ; Christiani-DC; Xu-X
Source
Occup Environ Med 2000 Oct; 57(10):661-667
NIOSHTIC No.
20029809
Abstract
OBJECTIVES: The association between birth weight and exposure to benzene, work stress, and other occupational and environmental hazards was investigated. METHODS: In a large petrochemical industry, 792 pregnant workers were enrolled and followed up through delivery between May 1996 and December 1998. Exposure to benzene and other solvents was assessed by an industrial hygienist based on each woman's job title and workplace information. Other occupational and environmental exposures and personal information, including perceived work stress, exposure to noise, physical exertion at work, and passive smoking, were obtained by an interview questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to examine the individual and combined associations of occupational and environmental exposures with birth weight, with adjustment for major confounders including gestational age. RESULTS: In the univariate model, birth weight was negatively associated with exposure to benzene (-58 g (95% confidence interval (95% CI), -115 to -2)) and with work stress (-84 g (95% CI, -158 to -10)). In the multivariate model, there was a significant interaction between exposure to benzene and work stress relative to reduced birth weight, after adjustment for other environmental and occupational exposures and personal variables. Adjusted mean birth weight was 3445 g (95% CI 3401 to 3489) among those with neither exposure, 3430 g for those with exposure to benzene only, 3426 g for those with work stress only, and 3262 g (95% CI 3156 to 3369) for those with both exposures. In other words, there was 183 g (95% CI 65 to 301) reduction in birth weight among those with both exposure to benzene and work stress compared with those with neither exposure. Other work or environmental factors could not explain these findings. CONCLUSIONS: Low level exposure to benzene and work stress interact to reduce birth weight in this population.
Keywords
Reproductive-system-disorders; Reproductive-hazards; Pregnancy; Organic-solvents; Occupational-exposure; Risk-factors; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Stress; Benzenes
Contact
Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, FXB-101 Boston, MA 02115-6096
CODEN
OEMEEM
CAS No.
71-43-2; 8006-61-9; 7439-96-5; 7783-06-4; 7664-41-7
Publication Date
20001001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
xu@hsph.harvard.edu
Funding Amount
1168572
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2001
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003027
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1351-0711
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities
Source Name
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
State
MA
Performing Organization
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
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