Q&A: Could pumping gas hurt my unborn baby?
I've heard that exposure to gas fumes during pregnancy can hurt my baby. Is this true? Should I only seek out full-service stations while I'm pregnant?
During the course of your pregnancy, you feel as if you are living with a list of dos and don’ts. What is safe? What should I avoid? It is good to be knowledgeable and up-to-date when it comes to having a healthy pregnancy.
Dr. Ronald Hines, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin is a researcher in the field of environmental agents and their relation to birth defects. He believes that women should, if possible, avoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which include methanol (found in gasoline).
If you do have to pump gasoline, make sure:
- The area is well ventilated
- You step away from the pump while you are gassing up to avoid fumes
- You wash your hands if you come into contact with any gasoline from the pump
The biggest risk for defects occurs with prolonged, large exposure to fumes or direct contact. A trip to fill up your car should not pose any threat to you or your unborn baby.
Check with your doctor for any further recommendations.