Fathers' Occupational Exposures May be Linked to Birth Defects
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Fathers' occupational exposures may play a more important role in the development of birth defects than mothers' exposures, suggests a study.

Newswise - Can exposure to hazardous substances at work contribute to the development of birth defects? If so, then fathers' occupational exposures may play a more important role than mothers' exposures, suggests a study in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Led by Dr. Sin-Eng Chia of National University of Singapore, the researchers looked at whether rates of common birth defects were related to parents' occupations. The study included data on all babies born in Singapore from 1994 through 1998-nearly 238,000 infants.

Links between occupational categories and birth defects were much more common for the fathers' jobs than for the mothers'. For example, babies whose fathers were clerical workers were 2.25 times more likely to be born with heart defects, compared to those who worked as senior officers and managers.