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Karin Sørig Hougaard

KarinSørig Hougaard

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Research interests

I am interested in work factors that may potentially affect fertility, pregnancy and child developmenta and health. In the study hereof, I employ animal models as well as Danish health registers and cohorts. I am especially interested in:
  • Nanoparticles and dust
  • chemicals (such as endocrine disrupting chemicals)
  • psychosocial stress
  • ergonomic factors

Exposure to nanoparticles during pregnancy

When pregnant women inhale polluted air, the content of particles presumably plays a role for development of the fetus. It is therefore natural to ask whether also exposure to engineered nanosized particles may pose a risk to pregnant women and their fetuses. Production of and exposure to products containing engineered nanoparticles are expected to increase in the future. We therefore investigate, in animal models, if prenatal exposure to nanoparticles affects fetal development. Endpoints include among others development and function of the central nervous, immune and male reproductive function as well as gene expression in the fetus.

Reproduction and parental work

Some trades involve exposure to chemicals that may potentially pose a risk for pregnancy and the developing fetus. We have established the Danish Occupational and Birth Register, by coupling of information regarding parental work and birth outcomes as well as child health. This register will allows for monitoring of adverse birth outcomes and child health relative to parental employment in different trades.  

Stress during pregnancy

Stress in pregnant women may influence the fetus during development, and change offspring behavior and physiology later in life. Many women are stressed at work, but at present knowledge does not suffice for specific recommendations regarding stress and pregnancy at work. At NRCWE, we use the National Danish Birth Cohort to investigate whether maternal stress and ergonomic strain at work influences pregnancy, child development and health later in life.

Current research projects

  • With mom at work (English page coming)
  • Prenatal stress and asthma and allergy among children
  • Danish NanoSafety Centre II (English page coming)
    • Effects on the placenta and prenatal toxicity after exposure to nanoparticles
    • Semen quality after exposure to nanoparticles
    • Jørgensen KT, Jensen MS, Toft GV, Larsen AD, Bonde JP, Hougaard KS (2013) Risk of cryptorchidism and hypospadias in boys of maternal hairdressers – A Danish population-based cohort study. Scand J Work Environ Health 39(3):302-9.

Selected publications

  • Hougaard KS, Campagnolo L, Chavatte-Palmer P, Tarrade A, Rousseau-Ralliard D, Valentino S, Park MVDZ, de Jong WH, Wolterink G, Piersma AH, Ross BL, Hutchison GR, Hansen JS, Vogel U, Jackson P, Slama R, Pietroiusti A, Cassee FR (2015) A perspective on the developmental toxicity of inhaled nanoparticles. Reprod Tox 15;56:118-40.
  • Larsen AD, Schlünssen V, Christensen BH, Bonde JP, Obel C, Thulstrup AM, Hannerz H, Hougaard KS (2014) Maternal exposure to psychosocial job strain and risk of asthma and ever atopic dermatitis in 7 year old children – prospective cohort study. SJWEH 40:639-48.
  • Abildgaard A, Lund S, Hougaard KS (2014) Chronic high-fat diet increases acute neuroendocrine stress response independently of prenatal dexamethasone treatment in male rats. Acta Neuropsychiatrica 26(1):8-18.
  • Hougaard KS, Jackson P, Kyjovska ZO, Birkedal RK, De Temmerman P-J, Brunelli A, Verleysen E, Madsen AM, Saber AT, Pojana G, Mast J, Marcomini A, Jensen KA, Wallin H, Szarek J, Mortensen A, Vogel U (2013) Effects of lung exposure to carbon nanotubes on female fertility and pregnancy. A study in mice. Reprod  Toxicol 41: 86-97.
Contact: NRCWE web editors

National Research Centre for the Working Environment | Lersø Parkallé 105 | DK-2100 Copenhagen O | Denmark |

Phone +45 3916 5200 | fax +45 3916 5201 | e-mail: | CVR: 15413700 | EAN: 5798000399518

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