Association between trihalomethane concentrations in drinking water and adverse pregnancy outcome in Taiwan

Environ Res. 2007 Jul;104(3):390-5. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2007.01.006. Epub 2007 Feb 26.


Chlorination has been the major strategy for disinfection of drinking water in Taiwan. Recently there has been interest in the relationship between by-products of disinfection of drinking water and pregnancy outcomes including low birth weight and preterm delivery. We performed a study to examine the effects of exposure to total trihalomethanes (TTHMs) on the risk of term low birth weight (TLBW), small for gestational age (SGA), and preterm delivery in Taiwan. TTHMs data were available for 65 municipalities in Taiwan. The study population comprised 90,848 women residing in the 65 municipalities who had a first parity singleton birth between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2002, and for which complete information on maternal age, education, gestational age, birth weight, and sex of the baby were available. Maternal TTHMs exposure was estimated from the TTHMs concentration for the municipality of residence at birth. The study results provide no evidence of an increased risk of TLBW, SGA, and preterm delivery at the relatively low concentrations of TTHMs in Taiwan's drinking water.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Drinking
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / chemically induced*
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Trihalomethanes / toxicity*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*
  • Water Supply / standards*


  • Trihalomethanes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical