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Chemicals, x-rays and Pregnancy

01/17/2007

Question:

I am 5 wks pregnant, and work in a dental surgery. I had a miscarriage last year at 6 wks preg. I`m very worried the miscarriage happened because I work with a lot of chemicals and carcinogens, although I do wear gloves and a mask. Also,we take a lot of X-rays, but leave the room when doing so. Could this be dangerous? I have had two healthy pregnancies and wasn`t working when I had them. What do you think? Thank you.

Answer:

You are wise to consider the potential impact of workplace exposures on the outcome of your pregnancy. Although you appropriately wears personal protective equipment at work and leave the room when x-rays are taken, there can be airborne exposures as well as dermal exposures you could receive in spite of those precautions. It is impossible for me to say that your work caused the miscarriage, but you should speak with your supervisor to see if work practices and the demands of her job can be altered in such a way as to minimize potential exposures. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, but not knowing anything about specific chemicals, I cannot do any more than suggest minimizing exposure as best you can.

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Response by:

J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN J Mac Crawford, PhD, RN
Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
College of Public Health
The Ohio State University