Occupational hazards in pregnancy can cause asthma in kids

September 26th, 2011 - 5:24 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 26 (IANS) Mothers exposed to certain substances and chemicals while in their jobs during pregnancy could give birth to children with higher chances of asthma.

This research included 42,696 children from the Danish National Birth Cohort which examined the link between their mother’s occupation and prevalence of asthma among the seven-year-olds.

The main focus of the study was on the effect of low molecular weight agents, namely synthetic chemicals and natural substances, including those found in vehicle parts, furniture, shoe soles, paints, varnish, glues and wood-derived products.

The assessment showed that 15.8 percent of the cohort had asthma. Out of the children whose mothers were occupationally exposed to low molecular weight substances, 18.6 percent had asthma.

These results were found after other factors, such as the mothers’ age and weight, smoking status, use of medication and exposure to pets had been taken into account.

Berit Hvass Christensen from the School of Public Health in Denmark said: “There are many factors which could cause asthma and many associations which have not been explored.”

“This is the first large-scale study which has shown an association between maternal exposures during work and asthma in children,” said Christensen, according to a School of Public Health statement.

“Whilst a link has been found, our results at this stage are modest and further research is needed into specific chemicals and substances to determine those that could be most harmful.”

Said Marc Decramer, president of the European Respiratory Society: “Indoor air quality is a major global issue… Many allergens are not currently regulated by international guidelines. We believe that everyone is entitled to clean indoor air.”

The study was presented at the European Respiratory Society’s Annual Congress in Amsterdam Sunday.

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