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Ann Trop Paediatr. 1985 Dec;5(4):219-22.

A survey of neonatal jaundice in association with household drugs and chemicals in Nigeria.


A survey was conducted to determine the extent of exposure of women of child-bearing age and their families to household chemicals and medicaments, and the prevalence of neonatal jaundice in the exposed and unexposed families compared. Significant exposures to naphthalene, insecticides, mentholated balms, mentholated powders, and traditional herbs occurred in 45-87% of the families studied. The overall incidence of jaundice did not differ significantly in neonates from households with or without positive history of drugs/chemical exposures. Severe neonatal jaundice, as judged by the need for exchange blood transfusion or death of the infant, was however, significantly more frequent among neonates from families with positive history of naphthalene exposure than in those with negative history. Some household chemicals and medicaments may be important in the pathogenesis of neonatal jaundice in our environment, and health education aimed at eliminating exposure neonates and pregnant women to such agents is urgently necessary.

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