[Histonet] Re: pregnancy in lab

From:"Barlow, Gillian"

I've been watching these notices with interest as I have just discovered
that I am pregnant.  I work in a research lab, and my work includes
immunohistochemistry and H&E staining by hand.  The xylene baths for
dewaxing slides and H&E are in a fume hood (which works, tested regularly)
and we do our coverslipping in the hood also, wearing gloves of course.  Is
this a sufficient level of protection during pregnancy?  I do this once or
twice a week

Many thanks

Gillian M. Barlow, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
Laboratory of Julie Korenberg, PhD, MD
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Davis Bldg, Lab 2007
110 George Burns Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Phone: (310) 423 7650
Fax: (310) 423 0302

> ----------
> From: 	histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu on behalf of
> Jackie.O'Connor@abbott.com
> Sent: 	Monday, February 2, 2004 8:08 AM
> To: 	histonet@lists.utsouthwestern.edu;
> histonet-bounces@lists.utsouthwestern.edu
> Subject: 	[Histonet] Re: pregnancy in lab
> I've been working in histology since 1970.  I didn't work in a lab during 
> my first two pregnancies - my oldest daughter (25) and second daughter 
> (24) were biology and art majors, respectively.  I worked during my 3rd 
> pregnancy (1982) in a tox research lab with no safety measures except for 
> an exhaust hood for formalin trimming and xylene coverslipping.  A couple 
> of the tox PhD's suggested I stay away from xylene during my pregnancy, so
> someone else coverslipped for me - I still did the staining.  That 
> daughter was diagnosed with learning disabilities when she was 8 years 
> old, and she continues to have problems at age 21.  While working full 
> time in a lab where we only had laminar flow ventilation to draw away 
> xylene and formalin fumes, my fourth pregnancy ended in a fetal demise at 
> 20 weeks.  I worked full time during my next pregnancy, (1984-1985).  That
> daughter has multiple minor congenital defects which include a mitral 
> valve prolapse, scoliosis, a concave sternum, a small area of left 
> temporal lobe atrophy, and a mandible deformity.  She also is plagued with
> learning disabilities.  Two subsequent pregnancies (1987, 1989) both 
> resulted in second trimester fetal demise.  My high risk OB in Chicago 
> suggested at the time (1989) that lab chemicals may be suspect in my case,
> and when it ended he said "You're not going to try this again, are you?"  
> As I've heard other people state, you just never know.  I'll never know. 
> There are other chemicals in the lab to consider as well as formalin and 
> xylene, tho - aniline dyes, silver nitrate, mercury, uranyl nitrate, 
> chloroform, toluene, to name a few.  Personally, I would recommend any 
> pregnant woman stay out of the histology lab.    I wish the NSH would do a
> study on pregnancy in the histology lab, retrospective or otherwise.
> Jacqueline M. O'Connor HT(ASCP)
> Abbott Laboratories
> Global Pharmaceutical Research and Development
> Discovery Chemotheraputics
> 847.938.4919
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