BACKGROUNDVolatile organic compounds (VOCs) might restrict prenatal and postnatal growth. However, the effect of the exposure of prenatal VOCs on postnatal growth has not been studied sufficiently. Thus, we investigated the relationship between the exposure of total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs) during pregnancy and its effects on postnatal growth.METHODSA total of 383 pregnant participants were enrolled from 2006 to 2008. We investigated maternal characteristics using a questionnaire. Personal air samples of TVOCs were obtained in mid or late pregnancy. After these mothers had given birth, 360 singleton newborns were selected and postnatal follow-up data were collected at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, as well as anthropometric factors including body weight. Multiple general linear and mixed models were applied for statistical analyses.RESULTSThe mean concentration of prenatal exposure to TVOCs was 284.2 μg/m 3 and that of formaldehyde was 81.6 μg/m 3. The birth weight of newborns decreased significantly with prenatal TVOC exposure (β=â '45.89, P=0.04). The adjusted mean body weight was 300 g lower in the high-TVOC group (â3/475th) compared with that in the low-exposure group (<75th).CONCLUSIONThese results indicate that elevated exposure to TVOCs during the prenatal period may adversely influence early postnatal growth.