Faculty of Health

Pregnancy and working with certain chemicals

If you become pregnant and work or study in a situation where you may become exposed to chemicals you are required to notify the school office immediately.

Depending on the nature of your work or study and the risks involved, modified or alternative duties may have to be provided during your pregnancy. Alterations will only occur so far as it is reasonably necessary on health and safety grounds (eg pracs may be postponed until after your pregnancy).

If you have any concerns at all about exposure to chemicals during your study at UTAS you should seek advice from the Course Coordinators, a University Health and Safety Representative or the University WHS Unit, regardless of whether you are pregnant or considering pregnancy.

The risk to health is related to the level of exposure and the properties of the hazardous substance. The risk is also greater during early pregnancy. In the typical working environment at UTAS exposure through inhalation is the most common route of exposure. Working in a fume cupboard which meets Australian Standard performance requirements should prevent exposure by inhalation. Skin absorption and ingestion are rarely significant routes of entry, provided that safe working practices are observed.

Of major concern are Mutagenic or Teratogenic chemicals, a limited number of chemicals are suspected of being mutagenic or teratogenic and exposure to these during pregnancy may result in DNA changes to the developing foetus leading to congenital abnormalities or abortion. For some chemicals such information is not available.

List of reproductive hazards