Non-occupational exposure to paint fumes during pregnancy and fetal growth in a general population

Environ Res. 2010 May;110(4):383-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2010.02.011. Epub 2010 Mar 12.


Occupational exposure to organic solvents during pregnancy has been associated with reduced fetal growth. Though organic solvents in the form of paint fumes are also found in the home environment, no studies have investigated the effect of such exposure in a general population. We studied associations between residential exposure to paint fumes during pregnancy and fetal growth within the Danish National Birth Cohort which consecutively recruited pregnant women from 1996 to 2002 from all over Denmark. Around the 30th pregnancy week, 19,000 mothers were interviewed about use of paint in their residence during pregnancy. The mothers were also asked about smoking habits and alcohol consumption during pregnancy, pre-pregnancy weight, height, parity and occupation. Information on birth weight and gestational age was obtained from national registers. We found that 45% of the mothers had been exposed to paint fumes in their residence during pregnancy. We found a statistically significant inverse relationship between exposure to paint fumes and the risk of being small for gestational age. There were no statistically significant associations between exposure to paint fumes and birth weight and risk of preterm birth after adjustment for potential confounders. Our results suggest that there are no causal relationship between non-occupational exposure to paint fumes in the residence during pregnancy and fetal growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Fetal Development / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age
  • Inhalation Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Paint / toxicity*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology
  • Solvents / adverse effects


  • Solvents