Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica     
Dolk H., Vrijheid M., Armstrong B., Abramsky L., Bianchi F., Garne E., Nelen V., Robert E., Scott J., Stone D., Tenconi R. Risk of congenital anomalies near hazardous-waste landfill sites in Europe: the EUROHAZCON study. In: The lancet, vol. 352 pp. 423 - 427. Elsevier, 1998.
Background Waste-disposal sites are a potential hazard to health. This study is a multicentre case-control study of the risk of congenital anomalies associated with residence near hazardous-waste landfill sites in Europe. Methods We used data from seven regional registers of congenital anomalies in five countries. We studied 1089 livebirths, stillbirths, and terminations of pregnancy with non-chromosomal congenital anomalies and 2366 control births without malformation, whose mothers resided within 7 km of a landfill site; 21 sites were included. A zone within 3 km radius of each site was defined as the "proximate zone" of most likely exposure to teratogens. Findings Residence within 3 km of a landfill site was associated with a significantly raised risk of congenital anomaly (295 cases/511 controls living 0-3 km from sites, 794/1855 living 3-7 km from sites; combined odds ratio 133 [95% Cl 111-159], adjusted for maternal age and socioeconomic status). There was a fairly consistent decrease in risk with distance away from the sites. A significantly raised odds ratio for residence within 3 km of a landfill site was found for neural-tube defects (odds ratio 186 [124-279]), malformations of the cardiac septa (149 [109-204]), and anomalies of great arteries and veins (181 [102-320]). Odds ratios of borderline significance were found for tracheo-oesophageal anomalies (225 [096-526]), hypospadias (196 [098-392]), and gastroschisis (319 [095-1077]). There was little evidence of differences in risk between landfill sites but power to detect such differences was low. Interpretation This study shows a raised risk of congenital anomaly in babies whose mothers live close to landfill sites that handle hazardous chemical wastes, although there is a need for further investigation of whether the association of raised risk of congenital anomaly and residence near landfill sites is a causal one. Apparent differences between malformation subgroups should be interpreted cautiously.
URL: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/31066/description#description

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