teratogen exposure

Cathy Quinones quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Thu Feb 2 13:54:29 EST 1995

In article <1995Feb1.212648.38029 at cobra.uni.edu> klier at cobra.uni.edu writes:
>If we make particular mention of teratogens and pregnancy in the usual
>safety lectures we give, are we somehow giving the message that
>"science is too dangerous for women who want kids"?  
>Comments?  Suggestions?

I prefer to stick with the "right to know" issue.  I like to know what I
am getting into and as part of a teaching lab, I think the students should
know about potential risks.  I know students often neglect to read
handouts that one lovingly :) prepares for them, but if they ARE offered
the info and they are too lazy to look at it, that's their own fault. 
That is vastly different from simply not mentioning the issues, in hopes
one doesn't have to deal with them.  After all, a woman may become
pregnant later on, and may be able to draw on the info you provided to
make informed decisions.  If the info exists, it should be available.  You
could simply say "we will be working with compounds that are known to have
side effects, this is a list of stuff you need to know.  You can talk to
me if you have any other questions, and if there is enough concern about
this, we can dedicate some class time to discussing the topic next week" (or
something along those lines).  I think women who are having children are
*hoping* to have healthy kids, so they shouldn't resent a healthy
reminder.  Likewise, the guys in the class may be interested in this info,
and may pass it along to fellow students or partners.  

For instance, there's the studies associating extended use of computer
monitors and increased chance of miscarriage (I can't recall any
details!).  This has been mentioned often enough in the public press. 
Have women started shunning computer technology as a result? I know I 

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