Skip Navigation
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Association between maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and rare birth defects of the face and central nervous system.

Authors: Santiago-Colón, Albeliz; Rocheleau, Carissa M; Chen, I-Chen; Sanderson, Wayne; Waters, Martha A; Lawson, Christina C; Langlois, Peter H; Cragan, Janet D; Reefhuis, Jennita; National Birth Defects Prevention Study

Published In Birth Defects Res, (2020 03)

Abstract: Previous studies suggested associations between maternal smoking, a source of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other chemicals, and central nervous system and face birth defects; however, no previous studies have evaluated maternal occupational PAH exposure itself.Jobs held in the periconceptional period were retrospectively assigned for occupational PAH exposures. Associations between maternal occupational PAH exposure and selected rare defects of the face (cataracts, microphthalmia, glaucoma, microtia, and choanal atresia) and central nervous system (holoprosencephaly, hydrocephaly, cerebellar hypoplasia, and Dandy-Walker malformation) were evaluated using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a population-based case-control study in the United States. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals were calculated to estimate associations between each evaluated defect and PAH exposure using multivariable logistic regression.Food and beverage serving, as well as cooks and food preparation occupations, were among the most frequent jobs held by exposed mothers. Cataracts, microtia, microphthalmia, and holoprosencephaly were significantly associated with PAH exposure with evidence of dose-response (P-values for trend ≤.05). Hydrocephaly was associated with any PAH exposure, but not significant for trend. Sensitivity analyses that reduced possible sources of exposure misclassification tended to strengthen associations.This is the first population-based case-control study to evaluate associations between maternal occupational PAH exposures and these rare birth defects of the central nervous system and face.

PubMed ID: 31944002 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: No MeSH terms associated with this publication

to Top