Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1983;9 suppl 2:79-83    pdf

Pregnancy outcome among women in a Swedish rubber plant.

by Axelson O, Edling C, Andersson L

Suspicions of reproductive disturbances among women in a tirebuilding department was the reason for this study, encompassing 42 women, 30 of whom provided a total of 84 pregnancies out of which 21 were exposed to the tirebuilding process. Nine of the 21 exposed pregnancies had an unfavorable outcome (threatening abortion, spontaneous abortion or malformation) versus only seven of the remaining 63 nonexposed pregnancies, a difference which remained significant also when various risk indicators like age, smoking, pregnancy order, and calendar year were taken into account. In contrast to earlier observations, there was no difference in thioether excretion in the urine (as potentially indicative of the skin absorption of rubber chemicals) between women working in the tirebuilding department and a reference group. It remains unclear however whether the observed cluster was causally related to occupational exposures or not, but, together with other observations, this report may contribute to the elucidation of possible reproductive disturbances in the rubber industry.