I know that years ago when I was pregnant and taking the 2nd semester of first year chemistry, it was suggested that I might wish to take the class after the baby was born. If I still wanted to take the class, they made sure that I understood that no matter what was done, there would be a higher level of risk than if I didn't take the class. I did check with my doctor and he felt that with the level of precautions planned, things should be ok. Whenever we had a lab, they had me in the lab next door under the full fume hood with full access to the lab instructor to be sure I was doing any work safely. I was also given the option of using a respirator (although was fully informed of the potential issues with respirator use. In some cases, they modified the chemicals I was using slightly to have me using somewhat safer chemicals (although it sometimes meant my results were not quite as good as the other students.) As for ANY lab, before the class all the students had to do a full search on all the chemicals we were to use (e.g. Merck Index, MSDS, etc.) which was checked by the instructor prior to the lab and turned in at the end of the lab as part of the grade. This was to make sure that we where aware of any dangers we'd be facing. Of course, the instructor also had a safety talk throughout the class to assure that we where aware of potential issues. With all of those precautions, my baby was born with arm abnormalities. I do not know if being in the lab may have caused (or heightened) these problems or not. I believe they were caused by a simple fluke of nature which does happen in life. The doctors who have seen my son over the years have not felt that my limited exposure would have caused the problems my son has had. In any case, I made the choice to continue the laboratory and have always felt the school did everything they could to protect me and my unborn child. Ultimately, it was my responsibility. Helen Gerhard -----Original Message----- From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Joel R. Stanley Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 12:23 PM To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Pregnancy policies follow-up questions > The same type of information about pregnant students. How do faculty > at other colleges handle this? In industry, how do you limit their > exposure to certain chemicals? The problem is, figuring out how to set up such protective policies without running into the equal opportunity, anti-gender-discrimination laws. No, I don't have solutions! I'm just making the problem more difficult. Joel R. Stanley Ovonic Fuel Cell Co.
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