NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Prospective monitoring of early fetal loss and clinical spontaneous abortion among female semiconductor workers.

Eskenazi B; Gold EB; Lasley BL; Samuels SJ; Hammond SK; Wright S; Rasor MO; Hines CJ; Schenker MB
Am J Ind Med 1995 Dec; 28(6):833-846
Early fetal loss and spontaneous abortion (SAB) were monitored prospectively in women who work in silicon wafer fabrication (fab) rooms to determine whether fab workers were at increased risk of SAB compared to nonfab workers. An attempt was also made to determine whether specific work processes were associated with any identified increased risk. Pregnancy information was collected prospectively by measuring human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in daily urine samples which were collected from 152 women employed in fabrication rooms and 251 nonfab workers in an effort to monitor early fetal loss. The samples were collected over a 6 month period. During the period 52 women (19 in the fab and 33 nonfab groups) became pregnant with a total of 56 pregnancies. Live births occurred more often in the nonfab pregnancies than among the fab workers, with 63% of the fab pregnancies resulting in live births versus 86% among the nonfab pregnancies. Fab workers also had a higher prior risk for clinical SAB. Fab SAB rates were higher among smokers. In comparing fab supergroups, the supervisors/engineers group workers were at a significantly greater risk of SAB. Compared with nonfab workers, the crude risk rate for dopant and thin film workers was 1.57; for masking workers, 1.47. Of the 52 women who did become pregnant, three were exposed to ethylene based glycol ethers (EGE) and all three had SABs; all three had been in the lowest EGE exposure groups. Two of the three had also been exposed to fluoride. Eight of the 14 pregnant women exposed to fluoride had SABs; five worked in the group with the lowest category of fluoride exposure. The authors conclude that the SAB risk is slightly elevated in fab workers.
Reproductive-system-disorders; Semiconductors; Risk-factors; Organic-solvents; Epidemiology; Reproductive-hazards; Occupational-exposure; Humans; Author Keywords: miscarriage; occult pregnancy; subclinical pregnancy; wafer fabrication; glycol ethers; semiconductor manufacturing
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Performing Organization
University of California - Davis
Page last reviewed: October 9, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division