Background: Emerging research suggests health effects in offspring after parental chemical exposures before conception. Many future mothers are exposed to potent chemicals at work, but potential offspring health effects are hardly investigated.
Objective: We sought to investigate childhood asthma in relation to mother's occupational exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants before conception.
Methods: The multicenter Respiratory Health In Northern Europe/Respiratory Health In Northern Europe, Spain and Australia generation study investigated asthma and wheeze starting at age less than 10 years in 3318 mother-offspring pairs. From an asthma-specific Job-Exposure Matrix and mothers' occupational history, we defined maternal occupational exposure to indoor cleaning agents (cleaning products/detergents and disinfectants) starting before conception, in the 2-year period around conception and pregnancy, or after birth. Never-employed mothers were excluded. Exposed groups include cleaners, health care workers, cooks, and so forth. Associations were analyzed using mixed-effects logistic regression and ordinary logistic regression with clustered robust SEs and adjustment for maternal education.
Results: Maternal occupational exposure to indoor cleaning starting preconception and continuing (n = 610) was associated with offspring's childhood asthma: odds ratio 1.56 (95% CI, 1.05-2.31), childhood asthma with nasal allergies: 1.77 (1.13-2.77), and childhood wheeze and/or asthma: 1.71 (95% CI, 1.19-2.44). Exposure starting around conception and pregnancy (n = 77) was associated with increased childhood wheeze and/or asthma: 2.25 (95% CI, 1.03-4.91). Exposure starting after birth was not associated with asthma outcomes (1.13 [95% CI, 0.71-1.80], 1.15 [95% CI, 0.67-1.97], 1.08 [95% CI, 0.69-1.67]).
Conclusions: Mother's occupational exposure to indoor cleaning agents starting before conception, or around conception and pregnancy, was associated with more childhood asthma and wheeze in offspring. Considering potential implications for vast numbers of women in childbearing age using cleaning agents, and their children, further research is imperative.
Keywords: Job-Exposure Matrix (JEM); Occupational exposures; RHINESSA; childhood asthma; cleaning products; disinfectants; generation study; mother; preconception exposures.
- Job-Exposure Matrix (JEM)
- Occupational exposures
- childhood asthma
- cleaning products
- generation study
- preconception exposures
- Maternal Exposure