Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1995;21(4):277-282    pdf


Perinatal outcome among the offspring of employees and people living around a Swedish smelter

by Wulff M, Högberg U, Sandström AIM

Objective The purpose of this study was to determine if emissions from a smelter affect the birthweight of offspring and increase the risk of perinatal death.

Methods A historical cohort was formed from registers of birth and employees from 1961 to 1991. Comparisons of birthweight and perinatal deaths between children born to smelter employees or children born to women living around the smelter and those of a reference population were performed. To study reproductive effects before 1961, a case-referent study was performed with cases of stillbirths from 1937--1961 in one parish.

Results No differences in birthweight were found between the children born to employees or to people living near the smelter and those in the reference group. An increased risk of perinatal death among children born to women in the exposed group was seen during the period 1966--1970. However, for the rest of the observation period, 1961--1990, this higher risk was not apparent. Conclusions For the last 20 years emissions from the smelter had not affected the birthweight and the risk of perinatal death among the offspring of parents living near the smelter or those employed at the smelter.