Increased risk of death with congenital anomalies in the offspring of male semiconductor workers

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2008 Apr-Jun;14(2):112-6. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2008.14.2.112.


Female workers in the semiconductor industry have higher risks of subfertility and spontaneous abortion, but no studies exploring male-mediated developmental toxicity have been published. This study aimed to investigate whether the offspring of male workers employed in the semiconductor manufacturing industry had an increased risk of death with congenital anomalies. The 6,834 male workers had been employed in the eight semiconductor companies in Taiwan between 1980 and 1994. We identified the live born children with or without congenital anomalies of the workers using the National Birth and Death Registries from the Department of Health, Taiwan. Multiple logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) of birth outcomes and deaths, controlling for infant sex, maternal age, and paternal education. A total of 5,702 children were born to male workers during the period 1980-1994. There were increased risks of deaths with congenital anomalies (adjusted OR, 3.26; and 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12-9.44) and heart anomalies (OR, 4.15; 95% CI, 1.08-15.95) in the offspring of male workers who were employed during the two months before conception. We found evidence of a possible link between paternal preconception exposure of semiconductor manufacturing and an increased risk of congenital anomalies, especially of the heart. The possible etiological basis needs to be corroborated in further research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Congenital Abnormalities / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Semiconductors*
  • Taiwan / epidemiology