Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 22:03:34 -0600
Reply-To: Helen <teamplayer**At_Symbol_Here**PCISYS.NET>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Helen <teamplayer**At_Symbol_Here**PCISYS.NET>
Subject: Re: Pregnancy policies follow-up questions
In-Reply-To: <001901c355fe$74847dc0$4003020a**At_Symbol_Here**TOFC.ECD.ECDOBC.COM>
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
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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