ScienceDaily (July 17, 2012) — Several types of job carried out by future fathers may be linked to an increased risk of birth defects in their babies, suggests research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Their analysis showed that nearly a third of job types were not associated with any increased risk of birth defects. These included architects and designers; healthcare professionals; dentists; firefighters; fishermen; car assembly workers; entertainers; smelters and foundry workers; stonemasons and glass blowers/cutters; painters; train drivers/maintenance engineers; soldiers; commercial divers.
But certain types of jobs seemed to be associated with an increased risk of having a child with a birth defect in three or more categories.
These included: mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists; artists; photographers and photo processors; food service workers; landscapers and groundsmen; hairdressers and make-up artists; office and admin support workers; office and admin support workers; sawmill operatives; those working with petrol and gas; those working in chemical industries; printers; those operating cranes and diggers; and drivers.
Jobs associated with specific types of defect included artists (mouth, eyes and ears, gut, limbs, and heart); photographer and photo processors (cataracts, glaucoma, absence of or insufficient eye tissue); drivers (absence of or insufficient eye tissue, glaucoma); landscapers and groundsmen (gut abnormalities).
The authors did not attempt to look at particular exposures to chemical or other potentially harmful hazards, but they conclude that their findings reflect those of other research on dads' roles in fetal damage and may help to inform further study on specific occupational harms.