teratogens in molecular biol labs?

Sarah L. Pallas spallas at bcm.tmc.edu
Wed Nov 15 14:17:44 EST 1995

In article <48c97k$7pl at hippo.shef.ac.uk> Dr Kathryn Platts,
K.Platts at sheffield.ac.uk writes:
>Does anyone know of any advice to pregnant women working in  university 
>molecular biology labs regarding the risks to the unborn child?

At least in the U.S., your university should have an office of
Occupational Health.  They can come into your lab and do a survey of
potential teratogens.  If your university is not cooperative, contact
OSHA at the federal level.  The other thing to do is read the labels on
everything you work with, and have a discussion with the lab head on ways
to reduce your exposure and to get your co-workers to improve their
safety-consciousness if they tend to be sloppy.

Failing that, you could always wear gloves and a respirator all the time!
 And a lead suit, if you use isotopes.  Not too practical.  Under federal
law in the U.S. your institution must protect you and your child from
undue hazards in the workplace.  What they do in the UK I have no

Sarah Pallas
Asst. Professor,
Baylor College of Medicine

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