Working With Plasticizers, Pesticides May Reduce
MONDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women exposed to
plasticizers and pesticides at work are more likely to suffer
fertility problems and to have lower birth-weight babies, according
to a new study.
Researchers analyzed data collected from 6,000 women, average
age 30, who were pregnant between 2002 and 2006. More than
two-thirds had planned their pregnancy.
Of the 3,719 women who provided information on how long it took
them to get pregnant, 15 percent said six months and 10 percent
said 12 months. Taking six months or more to become pregnant is
considered a long time, said the researchers.
About one in 20 (5.5 percent) of the women had a preterm birth
(fewer than 37 weeks of pregnancy) and slightly over 1 percent gave
birth before 34 weeks. About 15 percent of babies weighed less than
3,000 grams at birth and 5 percent had a low birth weight (less
than 2,500 grams).
The study is published in the Jan. 11 online issue of the
Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
A number of known risk factors -- older age, lower level of
education, ethnicity, smoking and drinking -- all affected time to
conception and birth weight.
But the researchers also found that women with workplace
exposure to phthalates (chemicals used to make plastics more
flexible) and pesticides were more than twice as likely to take six
months or longer to conceive and to have lower birth-weight babies,
they said in a journal news release. However, the overall numbers
were small, they said.
The U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development has more about
fertility and infertility.
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