Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(2):95-103    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1721

Paternal occupational lead exposure and spontaneous abortion.

by Lindbohm ML, Sallmen M, Anttila A, Taskinen H, Hemminki K

A case-referent study was conducted on whether occupational exposure of men to inorganic lead is related to spontaneous abortion in their wives. The men were biologically monitored for lead exposure. The cases (213 spontaneous abortions) and referents (300 births) were identified from medical registers. Lead exposure was assessed with blood lead (PbB) measurements and data obtained from a questionnaire. The results did not show a statistically significant relationship between spontaneous abortion and paternal lead exposure among all the study subjects. A significant increase was observed in the risk of those women whose husbands had been monitored (PbB greater than or equal to 1.5 mumol/l) during or close to the time of spermatogenesis. The association between lead exposure and spontaneous abortion was modified also by the age of the wife and paternal alcohol use. The findings suggest that there may be an association between paternal lead exposure and the risk of spontaneous abortion.