Reproductive Health and Pregnancy Safety
The following is an exerpt from the SCS Chemical Hygiene Plan.
Please be aware that risks and hazards are commonplace within the SCS facilities and that you are a critical component in safeguarding your reproductive health, which applies to both men and women. In addition, laboratory workers who are pregnant or attempting to become pregnant need to take extra precautions to promote the best possible outcome of the pregnancy. The following guidelines are highly recommended to protect you and the developing embryo or fetus:
- Consult with your personal physician about your work conditions and activities in order to plan a safe course of action pre-conception, during pregnancy and post-partum. Any restrictions placed by the physician should be brought to the attention of the principal investigator or laboratory supervisor and SCS Safety Personnel immediately.
- Clear communication and cooperation among the laboratory worker, the principal investigator or laboratory supervisor, and SCS Safety Personnel are necessary to conduct a thorough hazard assessment of laboratory operations and conditions, which may put the developing embryo or fetus at risk. In cases where a pregnancy is planned, the laboratory worker should initiate the hazard assessment prior to conception because certain chemical exposures may affect fertility success or critical fetal development in the earliest stages.
- In addition, this same group (worker, supervisor and safety personnel) needs to work together in developing a plan and finding creative solutions to ensure a safe work environment during the pregnancy. In some cases, work activities and conditions may need to be modified - such as working in a separate laboratory, substituting extremely hazardous reagents with less harmful ones, or focusing on a different aspect of research (e.g. theoretical instead of synthetic).
- For the health of the developing embryo or fetus, the pregnant individual and laboratory co-workers must strictly adhere to the safety guidelines in this Chemical Hygiene Plan. Give special attention to section F, "Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins and Acutely Toxic Chemicals."
Any other safety concerns should be discussed with the laboratory supervisor and SCS Safety Personnel. If you feel that your concerns are not adequately addressed, please contact your Department Head.