Health risk in the offspring of female semiconductor workers

Occup Med (Lond). 2008 Sep;58(6):388-92. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqn046. Epub 2008 May 7.


Background: There are no published studies focusing on adverse birth outcomes or infant mortality in the semiconductor industry.

Aim: To investigate whether female workers have higher risks of any adverse birth outcome or death from congenital malformation.

Methods: A total of 27,610 female workers had been employed in eight semiconductor companies in Taiwan between 1980 and 2000. Using the national birth registry, their live born children were identified, and then any deaths under 5 years of age with or without congenital malformations were identified by linking with the national death registry. Periconceptional exposure was defined as the mother having been employed in the semiconductor industry 3 months before and 3 months after conception of the live born infants.

Results: A total of 24,223 live births were included. No significant association between adverse birth outcomes or death with congenital malformation and maternal employment in semiconductor industry was found either in the period of 1980-94 or 1995-2000.

Conclusions: There is no convincing evidence that female workers employed during the periconceptional period in the semiconductor industry had higher risks of having adverse birth outcomes or death due to congenital malformations. However, prospective research is warranted to confirm these findings.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death
  • Child, Preschool
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / mortality
  • Ethyl Ethers / toxicity*
  • Ethylene Glycols / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Semiconductors / adverse effects*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology


  • Ethyl Ethers
  • Ethylene Glycols
  • ethylene glycol diethyl ether