Pregnant Laboratory Workers

UVM strives to provide a safe working environment for all laboratory workers. However, minimizing risks for pregnant workers is especially important due to the sensitivity of the fetus to specific chemicals, biological agents and ionizing radiation. If you are pregnant or become pregnant while working in a lab at UVM, you should consult with your physician for their recommendations. Risk Management & Safety staff can assist in completing a risk assessment of the hazardous materials that you work with in your lab. SDSs and other hazard information should be shared with your physician. Based on recommendations of your physician, alternative accommodations may be arranged.



Pregnancy and Radiation Use

The first trimester is known to be the most radiosensitive time for a fetus, thus, it is beneficial, but not required, to meet with the RSO as soon as possible to review safety practices and monitoring options.

  1. It is up to the pregnant radiation worker to decide whether or not she will formally declare her pregnancy to the RSO.
    • She may choose to declare her pregnancy to the RSO. The Radiation Safety Officer will meet with the pregnant worker to review radiation safety procedures, the risk to the fetus, and NRC Regulatory Guide 8.13 (PDF).
 She may choose to not declare her pregnancy to the RSO. In this case, only the radiation limits for adult radiation workers will be in effect, not the limit for the fetus.
    • Undeclared pregnant women are protected under the regulations for adult radiation workers.
  2. All female radiation workers will be given a copy of the University of Vermont's Instruction Concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure as part of the process of becoming a certified radiation worker.