Association of spontaneous abortion and other reproductive effects with work in the semiconductor industry

Marc B Schenker, Ellen B Gold, J. J. Beaumont, B. Eskenazi, S. K. Hammond, B. L. Lasley, Stephen A Mccurdy, S. J. Samuels, C. L. Saiki, S. H. Swan

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56 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study tested the hypothesis that fabrication room (fab) work in the silicon-based semiconductor industry is associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion (SAB). The study was conducted nationwide at 14 companies representing a spectrum of large to small manufacturers. A small increase in risk of SAB was observed among fab workers compared with nonfabrication room (nonfab) workers in two cohorts, historical (adjusted RR = 1.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.95-2.09) and prospective (adjusted RR = 1.25, 95% CI = 0.63-1.76). Analysis of specific fab exposures in the historical cohort showed a consistent, dose-response association of SAB with photoresist and developer solvents, whose major component was ethylene-based glycol ethers. The consistency of our findings and the toxicological data for these agents suggest that this is a causal association. Independent associations of SAB with self-reported stress and with etching fluorides were observed and require further research. No significant decrease in fertility was observed among men or women working in fabs, but reduced fecundability was suggested for some women fab workers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-659
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume28
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • glycol ether
  • miscarriage
  • occupational exposures
  • reproduction
  • semiconductor manufacturing
  • spontaneous abortion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Schenker, M. B., Gold, E. B., Beaumont, J. J., Eskenazi, B., Hammond, S. K., Lasley, B. L., Mccurdy, S. A., Samuels, S. J., Saiki, C. L., & Swan, S. H. (1995). Association of spontaneous abortion and other reproductive effects with work in the semiconductor industry. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 28(6), 639-659.