Re: PG in lab

From:Connie McManus <>

My husband works in Electron Microscopy where 2 times a year a class with lab
is offered.  Being the lab manager and lab instructor, he tells his female
students that IF they become pregnant -- or ARE preg-- they must tell him and
the instructor (his boss) about it (confidentially if desired) because of all
the horrid things that can happen to a fetus in his lab and thus there are
strict safety measures to be followed for preg women.  I would consult the
current literature on how to deal with a preg woman and lab chemicals.  I
don't have a clue what should be done as when I was pregnant with my children,
no one cared about xylene, formalin, etc. in the lab.  We never used gloves
while we coverslipped slides!  I was working with MMA while preg with my third
(& last) child.  No one told me about wearing gloves.  I used it in a fume
hood because the smell was so obnoxious I couldn't stand it.  My children have
turned out fine, it's their children I'm worried about.  I remember reading
about a study done on preg women in Germany and Holland after WWII.  These
women starved, yet their children turned out OK.  It was the grandchildren and
the great grand children that had the problems. I don't know if there is a
difference between starvation  and chemical exposure or not.  I assume it
probably depends on the type of chemical.  It is for certain that some
chemicals WILL hash up a fetus  badly.  I would keep preg women away from

for what it's worth...
Connie McManus

Kathy Gorham wrote:

> Good morning fellow histotechs,
> Another few questions from Eastern Oregon.  Do you have a protocol for
> pregnant histotechs? ? ?  Are they allowed to continue to work as usual?
> The lab manager just presented me with an article that xylene is a risk to
> the unborn child.  (like I don't know how dangerous our chemicals are) And
> wants me to investigate replacements for  xylene.  I tried several
> substitutes years ago and went back to xylene.   Do you use a xylene
> substitute?  Which one?  How do you handle the concern for the techs who
> are in their child bearing years if you use xylene?   Thanks for your
> expertise once again.
> Kathy Gorham, H.T.
> Grande Ronde Hospital
> Ls Grande, Oregon


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