Birth Defects and Workplace Solvents
Written by Faith Anderson on October 5, 2012
Workplace Solvents Linked to Malformations in Children
The study authors observed 3,421 women, collected urine samples, and asked them questions about their exposure to solvents at work. Approximately 3% of the women involved in the study gave birth to children with malformations like cleft palate and cleft lip. Researchers discovered that 45% of the women who ended up having a baby with major malformations previously indicated that they regularly worked with solvents, including beauticians, nurses, cleaners and chemists. Only 28% of women who had children without congenital malformations were exposed to solvents in the workplace.
Long-Term Complications of Birth Defects
According to the study findings, researchers found a dose-response relationship between occupational solvents and the rate of birth defects, particularly oral cleft, male genital, and urinary tract malformations. However, only one in five of the women who took part in the study gave urine samples, while the rest filled out questionnaires. Cleft lip and cleft palate are oral cleft malformations characterized by the malformation of a child’s upper lip, palate, or both structures. Both cleft lip and cleft palate occur when parts of a child’s lip or palate fail to fuse together during fetal development, resulting in an opening that can cause serious problems with eating, speaking and ear infections. Many children born with oral clefts, as well as many children born with urinary tract defects or genital malformations, require corrective surgery to repair the defect.
Contact a Birth Defect Attorney for Help
In addition to workplace solvents, exposure to certain pharmaceutical drugs has also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects among babies. Anticonvulsant drugs like Depakote and Topamax are believed to pose the most serious risk of congenital malformations, and SSRI antidepressants like Paxil and Prozac have also been linked to the development of major birth defects in babies. If you were exposed to potentially harmful solvents in the workplace, or if you took a pharmaceutical drug while pregnant, and your child has since experienced a serious birth defect, a qualified birth defect attorney can help. Here at the Consumer Justice Foundation, our consumer advocates work hard to protect the rights of consumers harmed at the hand of pharmaceutical drug companies and big corporations. We can put you in contact with a reputable birth defect lawyer in your area so you can discuss your legal options with a professional.