Chemical exposure during pregnancy and oral clefts in newborns

Cad Saude Publica. 2002 Jan-Feb;18(1):17-31. doi: 10.1590/s0102-311x2002000100003.


This article presents a literature review on the risk factors for oral clefts (lip and/or palate), emphasizing discussion of maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors. Several studies have identified the risk of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, use of anticonvulsant drugs, and exposure to organic solvents. A protective effect has been shown for supplementation with folic acid. As with other chemicals, the risk associated with exposure to sex hormones is still obscure, although some authors describe a moderate risk level. New studies addressing this hypothesis need to be conducted, while the population exposed to these endocrine disrupters is increasing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Cleft Lip / chemically induced*
  • Cleft Palate / chemically induced*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / adverse effects
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones