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Keywords:

  • paternal;
  • laboratory work;
  • occupation;
  • reproduction;
  • birth weight;
  • gestational age;
  • SGA;
  • LGA;
  • organic solvents;
  • radiation

Abstract

Background

Laboratory work may constitute a possible health hazard for workers as well as for their offspring, and involves a wide range of exposures, such as organic solvents, carcinogenic agents, ionizing radiation, and/or microbiological agents. Adverse pregnancy outcomes in the offspring of male employees in biomedical research laboratories are examined.

Methods

Offspring to males employed 1970–1989 at four Swedish universities were identified via the Medical Birth Register (MBR), along with other pregnancy parameters. Offspring of fathers with laboratory work (n = 2,281) is considered exposed, and of non-laboratory employees unexposed (n = 1,909). Exposure data were obtained by questionnaires to research group leaders. Logistic regression analysis estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Paternal laboratory work in general showed no statistically significant increased ORs concerning birth weight and/or gestational age, but work specifically with radioactive isotopes gave OR 1.8 (CI 1.0–3.2) for high birth weight and a relative risk of 1.2 (CI 1.0–1.4) for sex ratio (male/female).

Conclusions

There was no clear association between periconceptional paternal laboratory work and adverse reproductive outcomes, but use of radioactive isotopes showed increased OR for high birth weight in offspring. Am. J. Ind. Med. 49:468–473, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.