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Association of petrochemical exposure with spontaneous abortion.
Xu X; Cho I; Sammel M; You L; Cui S; Huang Y; Ma G; Padungtod C; Pothier L; Niu T; Christiani D; Smith T; Ryan L; Wang L
Occup Environ Med 1998 Jan; 55(1):31-36
A retrospective study was conducted at the Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Corporation located in Beijing, China, concerning the association between exposure to specific petrochemicals and the frequency of fetal loss. The study group included 2,853 women workers at the petrochemical complex who had at least one pregnancy and had completed information on covariates and reproductive outcomes. Of this number, 568 reported two pregnancies and 161 reported three or more. Of the 2,853 women analyzed, 1,620 (57%) reported exposure to any chemicals during the first trimester of their pregnancy, and 485 (17%) had exposure to benzene (71432). The overall mean rates of spontaneous abortion for first pregnancies for all the study sample was 6.1%. An increased risk of spontaneous abortion was noted in facilities that used petrochemicals, 8.8%. Women working in a chemical environment had a 2.9% rate compared to 1.8% among women working in a nonchemical environment. Seven frequently exposed chemicals or dusts were identified from information on job history. In order of decreasing exposure frequency they are benzene, gasoline (8006619), acid, manganese (7439965), lime dust, hydrogen-sulfide (7783064), and ammonia (7664417). The link between spontaneous abortion and exposure to benzene, gasoline, and hydrogen-sulfide was particularly strong. An exposure response trend was noted for increased risk of spontaneous abortion with increasing exposure to petrochemicals, based on interview information. Exposure to middle and high levels showed associations of 2.7% and 3.2%, respectively.
Reproductive system disorders; Reproductive hazards; Pregnancy; Petroleum industry; Organic solvents; Fuels; Occupational exposure; Risk factors; Epidemiology;
Pathology Harvard School of Public Hlth 665 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02115
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Issue of Publication
Disease and Injury: Fertility and Pregnancy Abnormalities
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division