Thursday, July 26, 2012

Heart defects at birth linked to solvents at work

Women can be exposed through synthetic textiles
and dyes, among many other sources.
Women who are exposed to organic solvents at the workplace have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with a heart defect, new research shows.

Many pregnant women may be exposed to solvents, which are often used in chemical manufacturing and in industries where substances such as fats, oils and waxes need to be dissolved or cleaned.

Organic solvents are common ingredients in
  • Paints
  • Varnishes
  • Adhesives
  • Degreasing and cleaning agents
  • Dyes
  • Polymers
  • Plastic
  • Synthetic textiles
  • Printing inks
  • Agricultural products

By handling these products, workers may breathe in organic chemicals, or they may enter the body through mouth or skin.

The researchers assessed the levels of workplace exposure to solvents in 5000 women in the United States from one month before conception up to the end of the first trimester.
Pregnant women exposed to solvents at work
may put their babies at risk, a study shows.

The women took part in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study and their babies were delivered between 1997 and 2002.

Since exposure to organic solvents (chlorinated solvents, aromatic solvents, hydrocarbons) is relatively common in the workplace, industrial hygienists focused on these chemicals and possible associations to birth defects.

Their approach showed a 4-5% higher risk of heart defects, but they cautioned that the results did not allow the drawing of definitive conclusions on specific types of exposure and specific congenital heart defects.

The study appeared online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Source: Science Daily Press Release

Cleaner air at the workplace

Since many industries and workplaces rely on the use of solvents, the indoor air quality may be affected by the volatile organic compounds and chemicals known to be a health risk.

Electrocorp has specialized in air cleaners for commercial and industrial applications that come in customizable sizes and with the most efficient filters to provide cleaner and healthier air.

The air cleaners are equipped with an activated carbon and HEPA multistage filtration system to remove airborne chemicals, gases, odors, fumes, VOCs as well as particles and other IAQ concerns.

More than 40 different carbon blends can also target specific chemicals and gases, such as those from organic solvents.

For more information on Electrocorp and its products, contact us.

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