Chemists are lucky that they have suppliers like Sigma Aldrich that actually follow the UN SDS format that is adopted by the EU and many other countries. On those SDSs you can easily see the 10 types of toxicity reporting either the data from the tests including the reproductive ones, the words "no data available" or words indicating there is not enough data to classify the substance.
But keep in mind that the US OSHA did not make reporting those 10 types of toxicity tests mandatory. And the wording OSHA allows is also is not the UN mandated clear wording, but a mishmash of misleading statements.
The problem with the academic Reproductive Protection Program attached to this thread is it assumes you can find out by looking at the references listed whether or not the substance someone is working with can cause reproductive hazards or not. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Since I do not work for a university, I am free to advise pregnant women with common sense. Pregnancy is not a time to be exposed to anything but good quality air, food and water. If there is no minimum daily requirement for it, it shouldn't be something that can get into your body by any of the routes of entry.
Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President: Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012 212-777-0062
From: Irene Cesa <icesa**At_Symbol_Here**FLINNSCI.COM>
To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Sent: Thu, Jun 25, 2015 12:44 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] SafetyZone [New post] Pregnancy and chemical lab safety
The following information and resources may be helpful to female and male scientists. Reproductive health hazards may affect both male and female fertility as well as the growth and development of the unborn child.
=B7 GHS has three hazard categories for reproductive toxicity (plus an additional one for lactation effects). Categories 1a and 1b are assigned to substances known to have produced an adverse effect in humans based on epidemiological evidence (1a), or presumed to produce an adverse effect based on animal studies (1b). Both hazard categories carry the same hazard statement H360, "May damage fertility or the unborn child." H361, "Suspected of damaging fertility or the unborn child," is used for category 2, denoting that there is some evidence from humans or experimental animals of an adverse effect.
=B7 Although in theory GHS provides objective criteria for assigning these hazard categories, in practice there is no definitive list of reproductive hazards (and that includes CA Prop 65).. For some compounds, if you look at SDS from 10 different manufacturers or vendors, you may find them roughly equally divided between those that assign a reproductive toxicity hazard and those that do not.
=B7 More descriptive information (and context) for chemicals or classes of chemicals that have public health hazards may be found on so-called ToxFAQs sheets published by the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR) division of the CDC. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp
=B7 For example, boric acid (and sodium borate or borax) are reliably listed as GHS Category 1, H360 on most SDS. The ToxFAQ for boron states: "
We do not know whether boron causes birth defects in people. Low birth weights, birth defects, and developmental delays have occurred in newborn animals whose mothers were orally exposed to high doses of boron (as boric acid) during pregnancy. The doses that produced these effects in pregnant animals are more than 800 times higher than the average daily intake of boron in food by adult women in the U.S. population."
=B7 ATSDR provides a searchable database but not a specific list of possible reproductive hazards.
=B7 The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity Database (DART) is a service provided by the NIH National Library of Medicine and Toxnet. DART is a searchable database of chemicals that returns published literature citations concerning reproductive health studies primarily in animals for each chemical. The citations provide hyperlinked access to the abstracts and conclusions for each study. The information itself is not further classified by DART. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/dart.htm
=B7 Catalog of Teratogenic Agents, 13th Edition, by Thomas Shepard and R.J. Lemire (2010) is considered a comprehensive one-volume reference with information on 3200 teratogenic agents. Some information may be accessed online.
Irene G. Cesa, Ph.D.
Flinn Scientific, Inc.
The Committee on Chemical Safety issued the guidance on Developing Reproductive Protection Programs in Industrial and Academic Setting .
The document can be downloaded at
ACS Staff Liaison to the Committee on Chemical Safety
Jyllian Kemsley posted: "A query from my inbox last week: Are there any safety resources for women scientists who are pregnant, other than MSDSs? The short answer to this question is that your best resources is likely to be the safety office at your school or workplace. Otherwi"
New post on The Safety Zone
A query from my inbox last week: Are there any safety resources for women scientists who are pregnant, other than MSDSs?
The short answer to this question is that your best resources is likely to be the safety office at your school or workplace.
Exposure to certain chemicals may adversely affect the fertility of the parents and may affect the developing fetus during pregnancy. Therefore, anyone working with reproductive toxins or teratogenic agents and planning to conceive a child or are pregnant should consult their Principal Investigator, the Chemical Hygiene Officer, and/or the Department of Employee Health or Student Health as appropriate for opinions regarding risks of exposure and potential exposure control options. The Chemical Hygiene Officer can assess potential exposures and work with the individual and with the Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor as appropriate, to adjust work practices to minimize any potential risk. The Employee Health or Student Health Physician can discuss the potential risks of exposure as they apply to each particular situation. A list of suspected reproductive toxins and teratogenic agents can be obtained from Yale Environmental Health and Safety.
I checked for information at a few additional schools and didn't find much else. If anyone knows of additional resources, please feel free to post them in the comments or email them to me.
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