Q&A: What are the effects of prenatal exposure to chemicals like ethyl ether and methylene chloride?
I am ten weeks pregnant and have some concerns because I work in an environmental lab with harmful chemicals. My employer is concerned, but they say that continuing to work is my choice and the risks are my responsibility.
I was wondering what you know about the risks involved in prenatal exposure to such chemicals as ethyl ether and methylene chloride. Although I am trying to be extra careful, doubling my gloves and working under the fume hoods, I am still worried. In addition, are there any tests available that I should ask my doctor about to help determine if my baby is okay?
There are no tests that can test for the subtleties of chemical exposure abnormalities. It is not true that your risks are your responsibility, and I wouldn’t accept this. I would contact your state’s EPA and the CDC about guidelines before being comfortable with this arrangement. I would also ask for any compliance reports from the company regarding state certifications on handling these agents, to see if there are any deficiencies.