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Systematic literature review of reproductive outcome associated with residential proximity to polluted sites

Abstract : This study aims to assess the evidence on adverse pregnancy outcome associated with living close to polluted industrial sites, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of published epidemiological studies. A systematic literature search has been performed on all epidemiological studies published in developed countries since 1990, on the association between residential proximity to industrial sites (hazardous waste sites, industrial facilities and landfill sites) and adverse pregnancy outcome (low birth weight, preterm birth, small for gestational age, intrauterine growth retardation, infant mortality, congenital malformation). Based on 41 papers, our review reveals an excess risk of reproductive morbidity. However, no studies show significant excess risk of mortality including fetal death, neonatal or infant mortality and stillbirth. All published studies tend to show an increased risk of congenital abnormalities, yet not all are statistically significant. All but two of these studies revealed an excess risk of low birth weight. Results for preterm birth, small for gestational age and intrauterine growth retardation show the same pattern. There is suggestive evidence from the post-1990 literature that residential proximity to polluted sites (including landfills, hazardous waste sites and industrial facilities) might contribute to adverse reproductive outcomes, especially congenital malformations and low birth weight—though not mortality. This body of evidence has limitations that impede the formulation of firm conclusions, and new, well-focused studies are called for. The review findings suggest that continued strengthening of rules governing industrial emissions as well as industrial waste management and improved land use planning are needed.
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Wahida Kihal-Talantikite, Denis Zmirou-Navier, Cindy Padilla, Séverine Deguen. Systematic literature review of reproductive outcome associated with residential proximity to polluted sites. International Journal of Health Geographics, BioMed Central, 2017, 16 (1), pp.20. ⟨10.1186/s12942-017-0091-y⟩. ⟨hal-01547817⟩

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