Knowledge is Power! • If you and your partner are planning a family or are pregnant, the following slides will provide information on how to decrease your risk of exposure to reproductive hazards during your working hours. • Before conception, the parents’ sperm and egg cells can be damaged by toxins found in occupational or lifestyle exposures.
Plan Ahead to Avoid Putting the Baby at Risk • Your baby’s major organs start forming even before you know you are pregnant. • During pregnancy there is rapid cell growth and the developing fetus is very sensitive to toxic substances.
Health before conception Work environment Reproductive hazards at work Ergonomic Specific work needs Biological Chemical Physical Talk to Your Health Care Provider to Assess:
Ergonomic Hazards for Pregnant Women • Ergonomics is the science of fitting the job to the worker. • Changes in the pregnant body may increase ergonomic hazards: • Body weight is increased • Centre of gravity is shifted forward • Muscles of pelvis are more relaxed allowing joints to become less stable
Ergonomic Hazards for Pregnant Women • Awkward positions • Heavy lifting and carrying • Repetitive work • Sitting or standing for long periods
Ergonomic Hazards: Health Concerns • Preterm birth • Low birth weight • Spontaneous miscarriage
Ergonomic Hazards: Recommendations • Talk to your health care provider about your pregnancy and the type of work that you do. • Most jobs need only a few changes to decrease health risks.
Chemical Hazards for Pregnant Women • Chemicals can enter your body in three different ways: • Lungs: breathing through your lungs. • Skin: absorbing through your skin. • Stomach: ingesting through your mouth.
Chemical Hazards: Health Concerns • Infertility • Miscarriage • Slower growth of fetus • Birth defects
Chemical Hazards: Recommendations • Read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) • Follow the MSDS guidelines • Talk to your Health & Safety representative • Talk to your health care provider • Wash your hands before eating
Biological Hazards for Pregnant Women • Biological risks can include infections from the following sources: • Viruses • Bacteria • Funguses • Parasites
Biological Hazards: Health Concerns • Infections can cause miscarriage or birth defects. • Working with children who have infectious diseases increases the risk of contracting the disease yourself.
Biological Hazards: Recommendations • Update your immunization before pregnancy. • Avoid contact with people who appear ill. • Wear protection as recommended. • Wash your hands often. • Talk to your health care provider, Health & Safety Representative, Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers or local Health Unit.
Physical Hazards for Pregnant Women • Noise • Vibration • Extreme heat or cold • Radiation
Physical Hazards: Health Concerns • Birth defects • Low birth weight • Preterm labour • Hearing loss in the baby
Physical Hazards: Recommendations • Talk to your supervisor or Health & Safety Representative • Avoid: • long periods of loud noise • extreme heat or cold • x-rays (wear protective equipment if x-rays cannot be avoided)
For More Specific Reproductive Hazard Information • Best Start, Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn & Early Child Development Resource Centre 1-800-397-9567 www.beststart.org • Motherisk 1-416-813-6780 www.motherisk.org
For More Specific Reproductive Hazard Information • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety www.ccohs.ca • Health Canada www.hc-sc.gc.ca • Occupational Health Clinic for Ontario Workers www.ochcow.on.ca • Ontario Human Rights Commission www.ohrc.on.ca
For More Specific Reproductive Hazard Information • Windsor Occupational Health Information Service www.wohis.org • Workers Health & Safety Centre www.whsc.on.ca
References • Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre. (2001). Preconception and health: Resource and strategies. Toronto:Best Start Resource Centre.
References • Best Start: Ontario’s Maternal, Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre. (2006). Playing it safe: Service provider strategies to reduce environmental risks to preconception, prenatal and child health. Toronto: Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse.
References • Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment.(2005). Child Health and the Environment-A Primer. Toronto: Author.