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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-89-069-2036, USA Today/Gannett Co., Inc., Rosslyn, Virginia.

Kiken S; Stringer W; Sinks T; Crandall M; Seitz T
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 89-069-2036, 1990 Apr; :1-36
In response to a request from the publisher of USA Today (SIC-2711), Rosslyn, Virginia, an evaluation was conducted of an apparently high degree of miscarriages among female workers in 1987 and 1988. USA Today is a national newspaper located on 14 floors of a 22 floor office building, Tower I, and 13 floors of an adjoining 31 story structure, Tower II. A reproductive history questionnaire was completed by 583 current and 173 former female employees. Overall there were 108 pregnancies of which 84 occurred on or after January 1, 1986 and ended before February 21, 1989. Twenty seven, 32%, of these resulted in miscarriages. Women who worked in Tower I were 2.4 times as likely to have a miscarriage as those working in Tower II. Among the Tower I employees, more than half the miscarriages occurred to women who conceived in 1988, primarily between May and September. Most of these occurred to women working on floors 14 or 15. Significant factors associated with miscarriages included working in an area under renovation and being 35 years of age or older. The relative risk was also elevated for those having had a previous miscarriage, using a VDT for more than 20 hours per week, and smoking. No association was found with psychological stress. The authors conclude that there was an elevated proportion of miscarriages in women working in Tower I, especially on floors 14 and 15, who conceived in 1988. The precise cause of the cluster was not identified.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-89-069-2036; Hazard-Unconfirmed; Region-3; Office-workers; Reproductive-hazards; Indoor-air-pollution; Occupational-exposure; Video-display-terminals; Indoor-environmental-quality; Author Keywords: Newspapers; miscarriage; reproduction; 2-ethoxyethanol; video display terminals; VDTs
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division