Pregnancy and chemical exposure....

  1. Is it safe for a pregnant nursing student to be in a chemistry lab for extended periods??? Will the experiments of mixing and burning chemicals harm the development of the fetus? I guess it would depend on what the chemicals are, right? Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, as I know we inhale numerous foreign substances every day... but I would very much like to know from a professional.

    Thanks
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  2. Visit najahlei profile page

    About najahlei

    Joined: May '04; Posts: 48

    8 Comments

  3. by   Mimi2RN
    Quote from najahlei
    Is it safe for a pregnant nursing student to be in a chemistry lab for extended periods??? Will the experiments of mixing and burning chemicals harm the development of the fetus? I guess it would depend on what the chemicals are, right? Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, as I know we inhale numerous foreign substances every day... but I would very much like to know from a professional.

    Thanks

    It would probably depend on how far along you are, so I think that's a question you should ask your OB.
  4. by   All_Smiles_RN
    Personally, I decided to err on the side of caution. When I was taking Anatomy & Physiology, I found out I was pregnant. Whenever we did dissections, we were exposed to formaldehyde (spelling?). I did some research on it and found conflicting results, some say it was a teratogen, others said not. I took it into consideration and decided it was best to drop the class. I picked the class up later after my son was born. Certainly not a professional opinion, but one from a mother. I say make sure you feel comfortable with whatever you decide to do.

    ...Jennifer...
  5. by   Jolie
    Please ask your OB/CNM for advice, or seek a referral to an Occupational Health Nurse. Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!
  6. by   KacyLynnRN
    You need to talk with your OB and weigh the risks.
    Not to scare you, but my sister worked cargo for an airline and was exposed to some jet fuel at work during her first trimester. She didn't think it was a big deal, but her son ended up being born with a serious birth defect (called an omphalacele, the wall of his abdomen never formed and some of his organs were outside of his body) and he died shortly after birth. After seeing this experience firsthand, I would agree with the poster that said always err on the side of caution.
  7. by   BittyBabyGrower
    The labs should have a manual that tells you about the chemicals being used. I would ask to see it and speak to your doc.

    Kacy, that is so sad...it must have been a really bad defect for the baby to be so sick and die
  8. by   z's playa
    You could always get a gas mask. Wear it in your labs. Sounds wierd but I've seen it worn before.
  9. by   fotografe
    I was a photography student while pregnant with my daughter. I went to a company called Lab Safety (www.labsafety.com) and gave them the list of chemicals I would be working with and they told me what equipment would protect me from them. I ended up wearing nitrile gloves, a respirator, goggles and a full chemical coat whenI was in the darkroom. I even dedicated a pair of sweatpants and old sneakers to that work so I would not track any chemicals into my car or home. My daughter is a healthy 5 y/o. I did not know which of the chemicals had a chance to cause problems, I just protected from them all. I also did not go into the darkrooms at all during the first trimester.

    Talk to your professor about which chemicals you will be using and report them to your ob. Most schools ask you to report when you are pregnant anyway, and should have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on file of what the classes use anyway. Perhaps anything that is a potential threat you can be excused from the lab.

    There is also a great program called ChemLab, a virtual chemistry lab, that I used in my online chem class, that perhaps you can introduce your professor to. She/he can put the experiment into the program (or select a similar one) for you to do virtually, thereby giving you zero exposure. http://modelscience.com/

    If you end up dropping, but don't want to lose forward progress in pre-reqs, see if they will accept the online class. www.iowacconline.com

    THe prof is Dr. Klepper. hope this helps.

    Quote from najahlei
    Is it safe for a pregnant nursing student to be in a chemistry lab for extended periods??? Will the experiments of mixing and burning chemicals harm the development of the fetus? I guess it would depend on what the chemicals are, right? Please excuse me if this is a stupid question, as I know we inhale numerous foreign substances every day... but I would very much like to know from a professional.

    Thanks
  10. by   najahlei
    ...Everyone for your information and replies. I have decided to "play it safe" and drop the class and pick it up at another time...


    Thanks again!

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