Occupational exposure to chemicals and fetal growth: the Generation R Study

Claudia Snijder, N Roeleveld, E van der Velde, Eric Steegers, Hein Raat, Bert Hofman, Vincent Jaddoe, Lex Burdorf

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Developmental diseases, such as birth defects, growth restriction and preterm delivery, account for 25 of infant mortality and morbidity. Several studies have shown that exposure to chemicals during pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes. The aim of this study was to identify whether occupational exposure to various chemicals might adversely influence intrauterine growth patterns and placental weight. Associations between maternal occupational exposure to various chemicals and fetal growth were studied in 4680 pregnant women participating in a population-based prospective cohort study from early pregnancy onwards in the Netherlands (20022006), the Generation R Study. Mothers who filled out a questionnaire during mid-pregnancy (response: 77 of enrolment) were included if they conducted paid employment during pregnancy and had a spontaneously conceived singleton live born pregnancy (n 4680). A We observed that maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phthalates, alkylphenolic compounds and pesticides adversely influenced several domains of fetal growth (fetal weight, fetal head circumference and fetal length). We found a significant association between pesticide and phthalate exposure with a decreased placental weight. Our results suggest that maternal occupational exposure to several chemicals is associated with impaired fetal growth during pregnancy and a decreased placental weight. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings and to assess post-natal consequences.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)910-920
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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