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Cad Saude Publica. 2002 Jan-Feb;18(1):17-31.

Chemical exposure during pregnancy and oral clefts in newborns.

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Departamento de Epidemiologia e Métodos Quantitativos em Saúde, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 21041-210, Brasil.


This article presents a literature review on the risk factors for oral clefts (lip and/or palate), emphasizing discussion of maternal exposure to endocrine disruptors. Several studies have identified the risk of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, use of anticonvulsant drugs, and exposure to organic solvents. A protective effect has been shown for supplementation with folic acid. As with other chemicals, the risk associated with exposure to sex hormones is still obscure, although some authors describe a moderate risk level. New studies addressing this hypothesis need to be conducted, while the population exposed to these endocrine disrupters is increasing.

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