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Reproductive Outcomes Among Male and Female Workers at an Aluminum Smelter

Sakr, Carine J. MD, MPH; Taiwo, Oyebode A. MD, MPH; Galusha, Deron H. MS; Slade, Martin D. MPH; Fiellin, Martha G. MPH; Bayer, Felicia MSN, RN-C; Savitz, David A. PhD; Cullen, Mark R. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 2 - p 137-143
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181cb59bc
Original Articles

Objectives: Several adverse pregnancy outcomes were reported among female laboratory workers in a North American aluminum smelter. To determine whether these outcomes were associated with any occupational exposure at the plant, a cross-sectional survey was undertaken.

Methods: Rates of miscarriage, premature singleton birth, and major congenital anomaly occurring during employment were compared with a reference group comprised of all pregnancies that occurred before employment.

Results: Among female workers, the excess of congenital anomalies among female laboratory workers that defined the initial cluster was observed, but no specific pattern was found.

Conclusions: On the basis of these analyses, the increase in congenital anomalies could not be attributed to occupational exposures at the smelter nor could potential exposure likely explain the diverse anomalies described.

From the Department of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health (Dr Sakr, Dr Taiwo, Dr Galusha, Dr Slade, Dr Fiellin), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn; Alcoa, Inc (Dr Bayer), Pittsburgh, Pa; Department of Community and Preventive Medicine (Dr Savitz), Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; and Department of Internal Medicine (Dr Cullen), Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif.

Address correspondence to: Carine J. Sakr, MD, MPH, du Pont de Nemours and Company, Epidemiology Program 1090 Elkton Road, Newark, DE 19714; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine