Maternal Pesticide Exposure and Pregnancy Outcome

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Exposure to pesticides is inherent in many agricultural jobs. Most of the interest in connection with pesticides and pregnancy outcome has been directed to birth defects. Some indications of an elevated risk of limb anomalies have been associated with ecologic exposure, maternal environmental exposure to pesticides determined by the mother’s place of residence, and parental occupation involving potential pesticide exposure. Orofacial clefts have been related to maternal environmental exposure to pesticides and exposure in agricultural work. Moreover, there is evidence that maternal agricultural occupation and pesticide exposure may be associated with elevated risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirth. However, some studies have found no indication of reproductive hazards but, altogether, the epidemiologic evidence is inconclusive as regards the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome.

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