The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of parental occupational lead exposure on the lead levels of newborn cord blood in the Taipei area. From September 1984 to June 1985, 5,000 pregnant women voluntarily participated in the study at the Taipei Municipal Maternal and Child Hospital. Each woman was interviewed regarding her and her husband's occupational exposures; 2,948 successfully delivered healthy newborns, and cord blood samples were obtained using Terumo Venoject, and 242 samples were analyzed by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry using an Instrumentation Laboratory 251 instrument. Nine cord blood samples were from newborns with both parents exposed, 26 samples had maternal exposure only, 105 samples had paternal exposure only, and 102 were nonexposed. The results showed that the average lead level of cord blood with both parents exposed was 8.9 ± 2.9 μg%, maternal exposure 9.0 ± 3.8 μg%, paternal exposure 8.3 ± 3.4 μg%, and 6.9 ± 3.2 μg% in the nonexposed group. There were significant differences between the nonexposed and the maternal exposure groups, and also between the nonexposed and paternal exposure groups. All 26 maternal exposures were from lead soldering operations. Multivariate analysis revealed that, after control of father's exposure status, newborn cord blood lead level increased 0.27 μg% for each hour the mother spent on lead soldering during a normal working day, thus suggesting that soldering during pregnancy may be hazardous to newborns. Paternal contribution to the cord blood lead levels seemed to be through either working at home with the pregnant mother also at home or bringing work clothes home for laundering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health