Labour Research April 2012

Health & Safety Matters

Women workers face miscarriage worry

Pregnant workers exposed to sterilising chemicals, x-rays and chemotherapy drugs are significantly more likely to miscarry, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

The study, led by Christina Lawson, a researcher at the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, found that nurses who remembered working with sterilising chemicals, such as ethylene oxide, or chemotherapy drugs were 100% more likely to have a miscarriage, while nurses taking x-rays were 30% more likely to have a miscarriage than the average woman.

Lawson expressed particular concern about the exposure of women to chemotherapy drugs during the first three months of their pregnancy.