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Home Industry News Birth defect warning for female scientists

Birth defect warning for female scientists

23rd December 2009

Teachers run the lowest risk of having babies with birth defects, according to the authors of a study published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The authors looked at the jobs held by mothers, categorised as 24 major occupational groups, and 45 different birth defects, in a bid to see if there was any association between them.

Just under 9,000 infants with single and multiple birth defects and just under 3,400 children without any problems took part.

After taking account of several factors linked to an increased risk of birth defects, several types of job seemed to be associated with a higher risk of having a child with one or more congenital abnormalities.

“Mothers who were janitors or cleaners, scientists or operators of electronic equipment were significantly more likely to have a child with a birth defect,” the researchers said.

On the other hand, teachers were significantly less likely to have children with birth defects.

The researchers did not look at the number of hours worked or possible chemical exposures, so could not draw definitive conclusions about cause and effect.

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