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Good news for pregnant VDT workers?

Good news for pregnant VDT workers?

In a study of 5,544 women, video display terminals (VDTs) caused no increased risk of miscarriage. Critics argue, however, that the reassuring news may prove premature.

Teresa M. Schnorr at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati and her colleagues studied telephone operators at two companies. The researchers compared a group who used VDTs all day long with a group who performed similar tasks without using the terminals.

VDTs contain cathode-ray tubes that release very-low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Previous research hinted that pregnant women exposed to such radiation may run an increased risk of miscarriage (SN: 2/14/87, p.107).

Schnorr's team used company records to calculate VDT exposure and then interviewed the women about their reproductive history. In analyzing the data, the researchers found that women who used the terminals had about the same rate of miscarriage as women who didn't use them. Their report appears in the March 14 NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.

Not everyone agrees with the team's conclusion. "To say that radiation from VDTs is not associated with miscarriage is too broad a conclusion to be drawn from the sketchy data in this report," says Karen Nussbaum, executive director of the 9 to 5 National Association of Working Women.
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Title Annotation:video display terminals do not increase the risk of miscarriage
Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 23, 1991
Words:214
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