Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1994;20(3):166-179    pdf


Potential parental exposure to pesticides and limb reduction defects.

by Lin S, Marshall EG, Davidson GK

OBJECTIVES The goal of the study was to examine the effects of the potential pesticide exposure of parents on the risk of limb reduction defects in their offspring.

METHODS A case-referent study was conducted utilizing New York State Congenital Malformation Register data. Persons with limb reduction defects and referents were compared in terms of parental occupations and residence counties. Parental occupations and industries reported on birth certificates were qualitatively rated by industrial hygienists to estimate potential pesticide (list four groups) exposures. Residential exposures were estimated from agricultural census data according to county of residence.

RESULTS Neither parental exposure to pesticides [odds ratio (OR) 0.9, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.6-1.4] nor farming occupation (OR 1.1, 95% CI 0.5-2.7) had an effect on the risk of total limb reduction defects. Those persons with limb reduction defects who had additional defects showed weak but consistent elevated risks in relation to parental occupational pesticide exposure. However, isolated cases of limb reduction defects were negatively related to these exposures. Residence in a farming or high pesticide use county was not associated with any type of limb reduction defect.

CONCLUSIONS Cases of limb reduction defect with additional malformations appear to be associated with parental occupational pesticide exposure. Improving exposure classifications and subdividing the limb reduction defects by types in the analyses are suggested for future research.