Maternal Occupational Oil Mist Exposure and Birth Defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997⁻2011.
Workers in various industries can be exposed to oil mists when oil-based fluids are aerosolized during work processes. Oil mists can be inhaled or deposited on the skin. Little research exists on the reproductive effects of oil mist exposure in pregnant workers. We aimed to investigate associations between occupational oil mist exposure in early pregnancy and a spectrum of birth defects using data from 22,011 case mothers and 8140 control mothers in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. In total, 150 mothers were rated as exposed. Manufacturing jobs, particularly apparel manufacturing, comprised the largest groups of exposed mothers. Mothers of infants with septal heart defects (odds ratio (OR): 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0-3.3), and especially perimembranous ventricular septal defects (OR: 2.5, CI: 1.2-5.2), were more likely to be occupationally exposed to oil mists in early pregnancy than control mothers; and their rater-estimated cumulative exposure was more likely to be higher. This was the first U.S. study evaluating associations between oil mist exposure and a broad spectrum of birth defects. Our results are consistent with previous European studies, supporting a potential association between oil-based exposures and congenital heart defects. Further research is needed to evaluate the reproductive effects of occupational oil mist exposure.
Siegel, M; Rocheleau, CM; Johnson, CY; Waters, MA; Lawson, CC; Riehle-Colarusso, T; Reefhuis, J; National Birth Defects Prevention Study,
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