Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the association between maternal occupational exposure to solvents and gastroschisis in offspring.
Methods We used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a large population-based case-control study of major birth defects conducted in 10 US states from 1997 to 2011. Infants with gastroschisis were ascertained by active birth defects surveillance systems. Control infants without major birth defects were selected from vital records or birth hospital records. Self-reported maternal occupational histories were collected by telephone interview. Industrial hygienists reviewed this information to estimate exposure to aromatic, chlorinated and petroleum-based solvents from 1 month before conception through the first trimester of pregnancy. Cumulative exposure to solvents was estimated for the same period accounting for estimated exposure intensity and frequency, job duration and hours worked per week. ORs and 95% CIs were estimated to assess the association between exposure to any solvents or solvent classes, and gastroschisis risk.
Results Among 879 cases and 7817 controls, the overall prevalence of periconceptional solvent exposure was 7.3% and 7.4%, respectively. Exposure to any solvent versus no exposure to solvents was not associated with gastroschisis after adjusting for maternal age (OR 1.00, 95%CI 0.75 to 1.32), nor was an association noted for solvent classes. There was no exposure-response relationship between estimated cumulative solvent exposure and gastroschisis after adjusting for maternal age.
Conclusion Our study found no association between maternal occupational solvent exposure and gastroschisis in offspring. Further research is needed to understand risk factors for gastroschisis.