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Pediatría (Asunción)

On-line version ISSN 1683-9803


BENITEZ-LEITE, S; MACCHI, ML  and  ACOSTA, M. Congenital Malformations Associated with Toxic Agricultural Chemicals. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2007, vol.34, n.2, pp.111-121. ISSN 1683-9803.

Introduction: Exposure to pesticides is a known risk for human health. This paper describes the relationship between parental exposure and congenital malformations in the newborn. Objective: To study the association between exposure to pesticides and congenital malformations in neonates born in the Regional Hospital of Encarnacion, in the Department of Itapua, Paraguay. Materials and Methods: A prospective case-controlled study carried out from March 2006 to February 2007. Cases included all newborns with congenital malformations, and controls were all healthy children of the same sex born immediately thereafter. Births outside the hospital were not counted. Exposure was considered to be any contact with agricultural chemicals, in addition to other known risk factors for congenital defects. Results: A total of 52 cases and 87 controls were analyzed. The average number of births each month was 216. The significantly associated risk factors were: living near treated fields (OR 2.46, CI 95% 1.09-5.57, p<0.02), dwelling located less than 1 Km. (OR 2.66, CI 95%; 1.19-5.97, p<0.008), storage of pesticides in the home (OR 15.35, CI 95%, 1.96-701.63), p<0.03), direct or accidental contact with pesticides (OR 3.19, CI 95%, 0.97-11.4, p<0.04), and family history of malformation (OR 6.81, CI 5%, 1.94- 30.56, p<0.001). Other known risk factors for malformations did not show statistical significance. Conclusion: The results show an association between exposure to pesticides and congenital malformations. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.

Keywords : Congenital malformations; agricultural chemicals; pesticide exposure.

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