Pregnancy outcomes in women potentially exposed to occupational solvents and women working in the electronics industry

J Occup Med. 1991 May;33(5):597-604.


Associations of occupational solvent exposure and/or work in electronics production with adverse pregnancy outcomes were examined in a large cross-sectional community-based reproductive health study of 1038 California women pregnant between 1980 and 1985. Occupational solvent exposure was determined by two different methods: Bureau of Census codes judged by experts to probably include solvent exposure and self-reported exposure. First trimester solvent exposure classified by either method (n = 52) was significantly associated with spontaneous abortion, adjusted odds ratio 3.34 (95% confidence interval 1.42, 7.81). Among 29 women reporting regular and daily solvent exposure, the adjusted odds ratio increased to 4.44 (95% confidence interval 1.86, 10.58). Work in electronics assembly was significantly associated with delivering a low birth weight infant (adjusted odds ratio 5.38; 95% confidence interval 1.42, 20.46) but was not associated with spontaneous abortions. Further research using biologic monitoring and/or other objective measures of exposure is needed to validate these findings.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / chemically induced
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupations
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome* / epidemiology
  • Solvents / adverse effects*


  • Solvents