Congenital malformations and birthweight in areas with potential environmental contamination

Arch Environ Health. 1992 Mar-Apr;47(2):147-54. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1992.10118769.


Public concern exists about the potential for reproductive damage that may result from exposures to environmental contaminants. Therefore, the authors sought to determine if there was an association between a child's congenital malformation or a child's lowered weight at birth and his or her mother's residence in a census tract where a site of environmental contamination had been documented. Exposure designations were derived from existing sources of information. Except for an elevated risk (odds ratio = 1.5) for infants with malformations of the heart and circulatory system, this investigation did not reveal increased risks for most malformations or for lowered birthweight among babies born to women who lived in these census tracts. Methodologic issues inherent to investigations that rely on existing data sources are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology*
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Environmental Pollution / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hazardous Waste / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk Factors


  • Hazardous Waste