NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

The semiconductor health study: methods for prospectively assessing reproductive function in wafer fabrication employees.

Gold EB; Eskenazi B; Lasley B; Samuels S; Overstreet J; Hammond SK; Rasor M; Hines C; Schenker MB
Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on epidemiology in occupational health. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 94-112, 1994 Jan; :426-432
The design and methodological issues that arose during a prospective study of potential adverse reproductive health effects in women working in the semiconductor industry were presented. The study grew out of a report which demonstrated an increased risk of spontaneous abortions among pregnant women working in the photolithography and diffusion areas of the fabrication rooms in one semiconductor company. Workers who fabricate silicon wafers were the cohort of the current study, including all women aged 18 to 44 with jobs in fabrication and a sample of women working in nonfab jobs matched on age and ethnicity. Women completed a daily diary concerning urine collection, menstrual flow, premenstrual symptoms, intercourse, birth control, illness, medications, smoking, caffeine, and alcohol consumption and exercise. Hours worked, lifting, standing, use of video display terminals and other equipment, evacuations, and spills were reported on a daily basis. The first urine sample was collected every day for 6 months or 6 menstrual cycles. Samples were screened for the 10 days prior to and 5 days after each onset of menses using an immunoenzymometric assay to detect human chorionic gonadotropin. The authors note that there was a difference in the usual cycle length women recalled at baseline compared to their mean cycle length observed using the daily diaries. The latter showed more dispersion than the former. The authors note that both long and short cycles are potentially important measures of reduced fertility and that this information is easily obtained. The authors conclude that while balancing the need for accuracy versus available resources, these findings support both the feasibility of the prospective approach as well as the utility of recalled information when a prospective study is not practical.
NIOSH-Author; Reproductive-hazards; Semiconductors; Reproductive-system-disorders; Electrical-workers; Urinalysis; Epidemiology; Risk-factors
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Proceedings of the 9th international symposium on epidemiology in occupational health
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division