Review of epidemiologic studies of paternal occupational exposure and spontaneous abortion

Am J Ind Med. 1994 Mar;25(3):361-83. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700250306.


The question of whether paternal exposures influence risk of spontaneous abortion is of great public interest, with the possibility supported by laboratory investigations. Thirty-nine studies of male occupational exposure and risk of spontaneous abortion were examined, with the methods and results tabulated. Many of those reports were limited by exposure data based on maternal report of the father's job title or by potentially inaccurate paternal reports of spontaneous abortion, though the quality of more recent studies is markedly enhanced. Mercury has been implicated most strongly based on recent studies that included quantitative exposure estimates; a number of studies showing associations for exposure to anesthetic gases. Suggestive associations have also been found inconsistently for exposure to lead, rubber manufacturing, selected solvents, and some pesticides. Further study is encouraged, but with more intensive effort to measure accurately both spontaneous abortion and occupational exposures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology*
  • Anesthetics / adverse effects
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Metals / adverse effects
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Plastics / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Rubber / adverse effects
  • Solvents / adverse effects


  • Anesthetics
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Metals
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics
  • Solvents
  • Rubber