Water Quality, Exposure and Health

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 23–34 | Cite as

Exposure to Tetrachloroethylene-Contaminated Drinking Water and the Risk of Pregnancy Loss

  • Ann AschengrauEmail author
  • Janice M. Weinberg
  • Lisa G. Gallagher
  • Michael R. Winter
  • Veronica M. Vieira
  • Thomas F. Webster
  • David M. Ozonoff
Open Access
Original Paper


There is little information on the impact of solvent-contaminated drinking water on pregnancy outcomes. This retrospective cohort study examined whether maternal exposure to tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-contaminated drinking water in the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts influenced the risk of clinically recognized pregnancy loss. The study identified exposed (n=959) and unexposed (1,087) women who completed a questionnaire on their residential and pregnancy histories, and confounding variables. Exposure was estimated using water distribution system modeling software. No meaningful associations were seen between PCE exposure level and the risk of clinically recognized pregnancy loss at the exposure levels experienced by the study population. Because PCE remains a common water contaminant, it is important to continue monitoring its impact on women and their pregnancies.


Tetrachloroethylene Perchloroethylene Drinking water contamination Pregnancy loss Spontaneous abortion Stillbirth 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ann Aschengrau
    • 1
    Email author
  • Janice M. Weinberg
    • 2
  • Lisa G. Gallagher
    • 3
  • Michael R. Winter
    • 4
  • Veronica M. Vieira
    • 3
  • Thomas F. Webster
    • 3
  • David M. Ozonoff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental HealthBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Data Coordinating CenterBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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