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The NIOSH study of reproductive outcomes among video display terminal operators.

Schnorr TM
Reprod Toxicol 1990 Jan; 4(1):61-65
The design for a study of reproductive outcomes in female telephone operators who used video display terminals (VDTs) was discussed. The purpose of the study was to determine whether VDT use during pregnancy increased the risk of spontaneous abortion and major congenital malformations. The cohort consisted of married female directory assistance operators, 18 to 38 years old, who used VDTs during their 7 hour work day. The comparisons consisted of married female long distance operators who used a light emitting diode screen instead of a VDT. Both groups were employed between January 1, 1983 and September 1, 1986, were ergonomically the same, and experienced similar levels of job stress except for the presence or absence of a VDT. Data sources to be utilized included work histories obtained from company employment records, reproductive histories obtained by interviews with the subjects, medical records, and vital statistics records. The occurrence of major congenital malformations as defined by International Classification of Disease Codes 740 through 759, premature delivery, low birth rate, spontaneous abortions, and neonatal mortality was to be determined from pregnancy outcome data. VDT exposure was to be assessed by determining the number of hours of VDT use during the third trimester of pregnancy. The author notes that 2500 persons are currently enrolled in the study. The medical, vital statistics, and interview data are being processed. A transcript of a discussion related to the study is included.
NIOSH-Author; Telephone-operators; Video-display-terminals; Sexual-reproduction; Teratogenesis; Job-analysis; Occupational-health; Humans; Reproductive-hazards; Communication-workers
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Fiscal Year
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Reproductive Toxicology
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division