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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GONZALEZ-GALARZO, M. Carmen et al. Prevalence of exposure to occupational risks in pregnant Spanish workers (the INMA Project-Valencia). Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.5, pp.420-426. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To describe the prevalence of exposure to occupational risks among pregnant women and analyze its relationship with personal and occupational characteristics using information collected in the Childhood and Environment (Infancia y Medio Ambiente [INMA])-Valencia cohort study. Methods: The INMA-Valencia cohort study started in 2004 with 855 pregnant women living in Valencia, Spain. Data on sociodemographic variables (age, education and country of birth) and occupational conditions (activity, occupation, type of contract, working hours and self-reported occupational exposure to physical load and psychosocial, physical, chemical and biological risks) in women with paid employment during pregnancy (n=649) were collected through face-to-face interviews with a structured questionnaire in week 32 of pregnancy. Results: The prevalences of reported exposure to physical and psychosocial load and to physical pollutants (including non-ionizing radiations) were 56%, 63% and 62%, respectively. The prevalence of reported exposure to chemicals (including cleaning products) and biological pollutants was 22% and 6%, respectively. In general, the characteristics most closely associated with exposure to occupational risks were younger age, non-Spanish nationality, lower education, having a temporary contract or being self-employed. Conclusions: This study is the first to quantify the prevalence of exposure to occupational risks during pregnancy in a Spanish population-based sample. According to the data observed, surveillance and control actions should be intensified in pregnant workers, as some of the observed occupational exposures have been consistently associated with detrimental reproductive and developmental effects.

Keywords : Maternal exposure; Occupational risk; Prevalence; Pregnant women; Risk factors.

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