A questionnaire, which takes about 30 minutes to do at home and can be returned by reply-paid post or done on-line, forms part of a three-year study by the School of Population Health at The University of Western Australia.
Project coordinator Assistant Professor Dr Kimberley McAuley said she was seeking 6000 pregnant women to take part in the National Health and Medical Research Council-funded study.
Participants needed to be more than 18 years old, in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy and living in the greater Perth metropolitan area, Rockingham, Bunbury or Busselton.
They would be asked to complete two questionnaires – in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy.
The survey consisted mostly of tick box answers about participants’ daily activities, fluid intake, use of chemicals (including in laundry products, pesticides and home renovations), exercise and medical history.
“The purpose of the study is to evaluate the relationship between chemicals and birth outcomes,” Dr McAuley said.
“The women taking part will be making an important contribution to scientific knowledge that may ultimately assist better public health.”
“All responses will be kept strictly confidential and no personal information will ever be included in any published reports of the study.”