In 1994, a hazardous waste site, polluted by the dumping of solvents from a former factory, was discovered in Taoyuan, Taiwan. The factory was built in 1970, and was in operation for the manufacturing of electronic appliances up until 1992. The objective of the study was to investigate the risks of childhood cancer and infant death in the offspring of electronic workers. We linked the databases of labour insurance, birth registration, and national cancer registry, which identified 40 647 female workers ever employed in this factory who gave 40 647 first live born singletons, and 47 of them developed cancers during 1979–2001. We also linked the databases of labour insurance, birth registration, and national death registry, identified 7202 male workers ever employed in this factory with 13 592 live born children and 81 deaths in the first year after, excluding 861 children with potential maternal exposure from the same workplace.
We demonstrated evidence on the hypotheses that maternal exposure to organic solvents near conception increases the risk of cancer in offspring and that paternal exposure during preconception relates to infant mortality and deaths due to congenital malformation.