Reproductive toxins are defined by the OSHA Laboratory Standard as substances that cause chromosomal damage (mutagens) and/or substances with lethal or teratogenic (malformation) effects on fetuses. These can include chemicals, biologicals, and radioactive materials. Chapter 8 of the UNC Lab Safety Manual outlines the proper precautions, postings, procedures and controls when working with reproductive hazards.
Examples of reproductive toxins commonly found in laboratories include:
- Carbon disulfide
- Ethylene dibromide
- Ethylene glycol monomethyl (and ethyl) ethers
- Ethylene oxide
- Ethylene thiourea
- Fluorouracil (5-FU)
- Ionizing radiation
- Mercury compounds
- Polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs)
UNC is committed to providing additional protection for the conceptus, and to establish specific procedures to protect pregnant employees. Review Chapter 8 of the UNC Lab Safety Manual for more information regarding the University’s Conceptus Protection Program. If you wish to take advantage of the program, contact EHS as soon as possible after determining or contemplating pregnancy.
- CDC: Radiation and Pregnancy
- NIOSH: The Effects of Workplace Hazards on Female Reproductive Health
- NIOSH: The Effects of Workplace Hazards on Male Reproductive Health