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Paternal Occupation Could Lead to Birth Defects

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Pregnant women receive a lot of advice: stand far away from the microwave, avoid tuna fish and alcohol, take prenatal vitamins…but what if doctors told your spouse to get a new job?

According to a report from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, certain careers of fathers appear to increase the risk of birth defects in future offspring.

Plus: What You Need to Know about Birth Defects

Research was conducted on a sample of 5,000 fathers with children either possessing birth defects or not. The jobs that increased risk were determined by assessing the type of defect along with the type of job that the father held within the three months preceding conception, the time when sperm has the highest potential to pass on abnormalities.

The jobs that did not seem linked to increased risk of defect include architecture, design, healthcare, and firefighting, while occupations in mathematics, physics, computer science, landscaping, hair styling, and crane operation increased risk. The researchers were able to support their findings by linking each type of defect with a specific category of occupation.

Plus: What Men Can Do to Prevent Birth Defects

The study also linked congenital heart defects with exposure to organic solvents, which are chemical compounds often used in commercial workplaces, upping risk by about 60 to 70 percent.  

Lead researcher, Tania Desrosiers stated that people should not drastically alter their lives solely based on these findings because most of the diseases are not very common and much of the research methods relied on self-report. She advised potential fathers-to-be to not switch jobs but merely to take extra precaution.

Would this new information alarm you enough to make a drastic lifestyle change?

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