Reproductive Hazards Still Persist in the Microelectronics Industry: Increased Risk of Spontaneous Abortion and Menstrual Aberration among Female Workers in the Microelectronics Industry in South Korea

Title
Reproductive Hazards Still Persist in the Microelectronics Industry: Increased Risk of Spontaneous Abortion and Menstrual Aberration among Female Workers in the Microelectronics Industry in South Korea
Authors
김인아
Keywords
ETHYLENE-GLYCOL ETHERS; SEMICONDUCTOR WORKERS; ELECTRONICS WORKERS; HISTORICAL COHORT; HEALTH; FABRICATION; PREGNANCY
Issue Date
2015-05
Publisher
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
Citation
PLOS ONE, v. 10, NO 5, Page. 1-10
Abstract
Objectives Despite the global expansion of supply chains and changes to the production process, few studies since the mid-1990s and 2000s have examined reproductive risks of the microelectronics industry; we examined the reproductive risks among female microelectronics workers in South Korea. Methods Based on claim data from the National Health Insurance (2008-2012), we estimated agespecific rates of spontaneous abortion (SAB) and menstrual aberration (MA) among women aged 20 to 39 years. We compared data between microelectronics workers and three different control groups: economically inactive women, the working population as a whole, and workers employed in the bank industry. For an effect measure, age-stratified relative risks (RRs) were estimated. Results Female workers in the microelectronics industry showed significantly higher risk for SAB and MA compared to control groups. The RRs for SAB with reference to economically inactive women, working population, and bank workers in their twenties were 1.57, 1.40, and 1.37, respectively, and the RRs for MA among females in their twenties were 1.54, 1.38, and 1.48, respectively. For women in their thirties, RRs for SAB were 1.58, 1.67, and 1.13, and those for MA were 1.25, 1.35, and 1.23 compared to the three control populations, respectively. All RRs were statistically significant at a level of 0.05, except for the SAB case comparison with bank workers in their thirties. Conclusions Despite technical innovations and health and safety measures, female workers in microelectronics industry in South Korea have high rates of SAB and MA, suggesting continued exposure to reproductive hazards. Further etiologic studies based on primary data collection and careful surveillance are required to confirm these results.
URI
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123679http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11754/24859
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0123679
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF MEDICINE[S](의과대학) > MEDICINE(의학과) > Articles
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