Maternal occupational exposure to organic solvents during early pregnancy and risks of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts

Department of Epidemiology, Campus Box 7435, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.27). 03/2012; 69(7):493-9. DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2011-100245
Source: PubMed


Though toxicological experiments demonstrate the teratogenicity of organic solvents in animal models, epidemiologic studies have reported inconsistent results. Using data from the population-based National Birth Defects Prevention Study, the authors examined the relation between maternal occupational exposure to aromatic solvents, chlorinated solvents and Stoddard solvent during early pregnancy and neural tube defects (NTDs) and orofacial clefts (OFCs).
Cases of NTDs (anencephaly, spina bifida and encephalocoele) and OFCs (cleft lip ± cleft palate and cleft palate alone) delivered between 1997 and 2002 were identified by birth defect surveillance registries in eight states; non-malformed control infants were selected using birth certificates or hospital records. Maternal solvent exposure was estimated by industrial hygienist review of self-reported occupational histories in combination with a literature-derived exposure database. ORs and 95% CIs for the association between solvent class and each birth defect group and component phenotype were estimated using multivariable logistic regression, adjusting for maternal age, race/ethnicity, education, pre-pregnancy body mass index, folic acid supplement use and smoking.
The prevalence of exposure to any solvent among mothers of NTD cases (n = 511), OFC cases (n = 1163) and controls (n = 2977) was 13.1%, 9.6% and 8.2%, respectively. Exposure to chlorinated solvents was associated with increased odds of NTDs (OR = 1.96, CI 1.34 to 2.87), especially spina bifida (OR = 2.26, CI 1.44 to 3.53). No solvent class was strongly associated with OFCs in these data.
The findings suggest that maternal occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents during early pregnancy is positively associated with the prevalence of NTDs in offspring.

1 Follower
22 Reads
  • Source
    • "Other studies of maternal exposures to organic solvents, some of which contain benzene, have reported associations between maternal occupational exposure to organic solvents and major birth defects (Brender et al. 2002; Desrosiers et al. 2012; McMartin et al. 1998). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Birth defects are a leading cause of neonatal mortality. Natural gas development (NGD) emits several potential teratogens and US production is expanding. We examined associations between maternal residential proximity to NGD and birth outcomes in a retrospective cohort study of 124,842 births between 1996 and 2009 in rural Colorado. We calculated inverse distance weighted natural gas well counts within a 10-mile radius of maternal residence to estimate maternal exposure to NGD. Logistic regression, adjusted for maternal and infant covariates, was used to estimate associations with exposure tertiles for congenital heart defects (CHDs), neural tube defects (NTDs), oral clefts, preterm birth, and term low birth weight. The Association with term birth weight was investigated using multiple linear regression. Prevalence of CHDs increased with exposure tertile, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.3 for the highest tertile (95% CI: 1.2, 1.5) and NTD prevalence was associated with the highest tertile of exposure (OR = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.0, 3.9, based on 59 cases), compared to no gas wells within a 10-mile radius. Exposure was negatively associated with preterm birth and positively associated with fetal growth, though the magnitude of association was small. No association was found between exposure and oral clefts. In this large cohort, we observed an association between density and proximity of natural gas wells within a 10-mile radius of maternal residence and prevalence of CHDs and possibly NTDs. Greater specificity in exposure estimates are needed to further explore these associations.
    Environmental Health Perspectives 01/2014; 122(4). DOI:10.1289/ehp.1306722 · 7.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Exposures to the contaminants in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune did not increase the risk of oral clefts, as indicated by ORs ≤ 1.0. A few studies have also found ORs ≤ 1.0 for oral clefts and occupational solvent exposures [10,33,34]. However, other studies of occupational solvent exposures found associations with oral clefts [35]; and a study in Cape Cod found an association between exposures to PCE in drinking water and oral clefts [17]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drinking water supplies at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune were contaminated with trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, vinyl chloride and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene during 1968 through 1985. We conducted a case control study to determine if children born during 1968--1985 to mothers with residential exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune during pregnancy were more likely to have childhood hematopoietic cancers, neural tube defects (NTDs), or oral clefts. For cancers, exposures during the first year of life were also evaluated. Cases and controls were identified through a survey of parents residing on base during pregnancy and confirmed by medical records. Controls were randomly sampled from surveyed participants who had a live birth without a major birth defect or childhood cancer. Groundwater contaminant fate and transport and distribution system models provided estimates of monthly levels of drinking water contaminants at mothers' residences. Magnitude of odds ratios (ORs) was used to assess associations. Confidence intervals (CIs) were used to indicate precision of ORs. We evaluated parental characteristics and pregnancy history to assess potential confounding. Confounding was negligible so unadjusted results were presented. For NTDs and average 1st trimester exposures, ORs for any benzene exposure and for trichloroethylene above 5 parts per billion were 4.1 (95% CI: 1.4-12.0) and 2.4 (95% CI: 0.6-9.6), respectively. For trichloroethylene, a monotonic exposure response relationship was observed. For childhood cancers and average 1st trimester exposures, ORs for any tetrachloroethylene exposure and any vinyl chloride exposure were 1.6 (95% CI: 0.5-4.8), and 1.6 (95% CI: 0.5-4.7), respectively. The study found no evidence suggesting any other associations between outcomes and exposures. Although CIs were wide, ORs suggested associations between drinking water contaminants and NTDs. ORs suggested weaker associations with childhood hematopoietic cancers.
    Environmental Health 12/2013; 12(1):104. DOI:10.1186/1476-069X-12-104 · 3.37 Impact Factor
  • Source

    07/2012; 1(3):43.
Show more