NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Spontaneous Abortion and General Illness Symptoms among Semiconductor Manufacturers.

Pastides-H; Calabrese-EJ; Hosmer-DW Jr.; Harris-DR Jr.
Hazard Assessment and Control Technology in Semiconductor Manufacturing, Lewis Publishers, Inc., Chelsea, Michigan 1989:53-73
A study was undertaken to examine the risk of adverse reproductive outcomes and the prevalence of general illness symptoms in a group of manufacturing workers at a semiconductor production facility in Massachusetts. Two comparison groups from the same facility were constructed. One group was involved in semiconductor production exclusive of photolithography. This group included workers in the diffusion area but also included workers in ion implant and epitaxy and was referred to as the diffusion group. These workers were exposed to a variety of acids and metals but had no unusual exposure to glycol ethers. The second group was not exposed to process chemicals, and included clerical and administrative staff and engineers. The study included 67 female and 69 male photolithographic employees, 67 female and 91 male diffusion employees, and 337 female and 113 male nonexposed employees. Participation rates were 93 percent for manufacturing and 90 percent for nonexposed employees. Interviews were conducted with the wives of the 127 married men. Spontaneous abortion ratios for women in the photolithographic, diffusion, and nonexposed groups were 5/16, 7/18 and 71/398, respectively. Spontaneous abortion ratios were generally low in the spouses of male workers in all three exposure groups. This study pointed to a potential association between semiconductors manufacturing and risk of spontaneous abortion, as well as with several self reported illness symptoms. The authors suggest further epidemiological studies to verify this possible finding.
Electronics-industry; Reproductive-hazards; Semiconductors; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Reproductive-effects; Embryotoxicity;
Publication Date
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Hazard Assessment and Control Technology in Semiconductor Manufacturing, Lewis Publishers, Inc., Chelsea, Michigan
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division