News from ISGlobal
A study led by ISGlobal researchers and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives has found an association between exposure to endocrine disruptors in the workplace and an increased risk of low birth weight at full term. The study analysed data on 131,279 working women from 13 European birth cohorts. Of these, 11% held jobs classified as possibly or probably exposed to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
Exposure to endocrine disruptors, which are chemical compounds that alter hormone regulation, is associated with a wide range of negative health consequences, including breast, prostate and testicular cancers, diabetes, obesity and reduced fertility. Despite evolving policies regulating the use of endocrine disruptors, these substances are still present in certain food and consumer products. “Individuals in the general population are exposed to small concentrations of endocrine disruptors through diet and consumer products, but in some cases workplace exposure can be much higher”, says Martine Vrijheid, the ISGlobal researcher who coordinated the study.
The results of this study show that women working in jobs classified as being associated with exposure to one or more groups of endocrine disruptors had a 25% higher risk of giving birth to an underweight baby at full term. It was also observed that the risk of low birth weight at term increased when the women were exposed to more groups of endocrine disruptor groups in their work.
Birks L, Casas M, Garcia AM, Alexander J, Barros H, Bergström A, Bonde JP, Burdorf A, Costet N, Danileviciute A, Eggesbø M, Fernández MF, González-Galarzo MC, Gražulevičienė R, Hanke W, Jaddoe V, Kogevinas M, Kull I, Lertxundi A, Melaki V, Andersen AM, Olea N, Polanska K, Rusconi F, Santa-Marina L, Santos AC, Vrijkotte T, Zugna D, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Cordier S, Vrijheid M. 2016. Occupational exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and birth weight and length of gestation: a European meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect 124:1785–1793.