Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 23:34:05 -0500
Reply-To: Elmer Rauckman <rauckman**At_Symbol_Here**TOXICSOLUTIONS.COM>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Elmer Rauckman <rauckman**At_Symbol_Here**TOXICSOLUTIONS.COM>
Subject: Re: Pregnancy policies follow-up questions
In-Reply-To: <p0521061bbb4c7085f448**At_Symbol_Here**[]>

Pregnant or presumed pregnant workers are a tough issue.  My experience is
that if they indicate they want to stay in a laboratory environment, we
gathered a list of the chemicals they used routinely and examined it for
significant developmental toxicants.  If there were or were not
developmental toxicants the woman is counseled on the risks as we understand
them perhaps given instructions not to work with chemicals identified as
potent developmental toxins.

I also like to provide information to the pregnant woman that high-dose
single exposure events at certain gestational intervals can result in
adverse outcomes even if the chemical agent is relatively non-toxic.  This
means no significant spill clean ups are allowed.  If the woman is
comfortable with the information, and wants to continue, it is her right and
should not present an unreasonable risk in most cases.  Is she is very
nervous about the potential risk, my suggestion is to offer alternative
employment because the stress response may add to developmental risk.  If
there is a highly potent teratogen with probable exposure and she is not
willing to accept alternate duties or another work-around - then you have a
real problem. If handled right it should never come to be a real problem.

You also have to keep in mind that a woman may be pregnant and in a
sensitive gestational period without knowing it.  That is a good reason for
hygienic practices that are protective for all individuals rather pregnant
or not.

Elmer Rauckman PhD DABT

-----Original Message-----
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU]On Behalf Of
Ralph Stuart, University of Vermont
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 1:43 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Pregnancy policies follow-up questions

Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 14:34:42 -0400
From: "George H. Wahl, Jr" 
Subject: Re: Pregnancy policies follow-up questions

We make a general statement as part of the Safety training in each
semester's Organic labs.

Folks who believe they are pregnant, or who plan to get pregnant
during the semester, are advised to at a minimum take their lab book
to their OB/GYN for advice.

Any woman (we've not had any men, yet!) who feels nervous about the
imagined dangers of the lab to the unborn, is given a chance to drop
right away, and take it without penalty after she has delivered.

For this and many other reasons, we switched to Micro-Scale
experiments more than 15 years ago.  Great savings in cost of
materials, cost of waste disposal, time to do an experiment.  The
dangers of anyone becoming exposed to a large dose of any hazardous
material is greatly diminished.  Only sufficient chemicals for the
class to do the day's experiment are available in the open student

We believe this is the way the "Prudent Person" referred to in the
classic "Prudent Practices" ( now available on-line at    ) would handle this
important question.

Hope this helps!


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