Almost two-thirds of pregnant women believe they are regularly exposed to physical risk at work

December 17, 2009

A new study shows the employment and sociodemographic characteristics involved in the exposure of pregnant women to workplace hazards. Of these, 56% say they often work standing up or have to lift heavy objects, 63% are exposed to workplace stress and 62% say they are frequently exposed to some physical risk in their place of work.

"Pregnant and breastfeeding women are especially sensitive to exposure to workplace hazards", Mª Carmen González, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Higher Centre for Public Health Research in Valencia, tells SINC. "Certain workplace pollutants and working conditions can have negative impacts on pregnancy and the development of the foetus", she says.

The results of this study, recently published in the journal Gaceta Sanitaria, show that more than half of the women (56%) worked standing up or frequently lifted heavy objects during the course of their paid work while pregnant.

In addition, 63% said they were subjected to workplace stress, and 62% frequently experienced some physical risk - noise, high temperatures or humidity, vibrations, radiation and electromagnetic fields (data visualisation screens).

Almost one-quarter of the women (22%) said they were exposed to some chemical agent, particularly cleaning products, and 6% to biological risk factors, such as in jobs involving the care of others.

The conclusions show that it is the youngest, least-educated and non-Spanish women, who are self-employed or working on temporary contracts, who are most likely to report being frequently exposed to workplace risks.

"This research could be useful for planning and prioritising the preventive actions necessary to protect the reproductive health of pregnant working women", explains González.

Spain, far from fulfilling its protection regulations

To date there has been no rigorous information about the exposure of pregnant women to workplace risks in Spain. The National Labour Force Survey, the leading source of information on exposure to workplace hazards, does not include information about pregnant women.

However, when the authors compared some indicators on exposure to workplace hazards in this survey with those used in their own study, they found similar results.

"Although Spanish legislation regulates the protection of pregnant or breastfeeding women in their places of work (Law 31/1995 and Organic Law 3/2007), the conclusions of this study indicate that this legislation is insufficiently implemented in Spain", concludes the Valencian researcher.
-end-
references: M. Carmen González-Galarzo, Ana M. García, Marisa Estarlich, Francisco García García, Ana Esplugues, Paz Rodríguez, Marisa Rebagliato, Ferran Ballester. "Prevalencias de exposición a riesgos laborales en trabajadoras embarazadas (proyecto INMA- Valencia)". Gaceta Sanitaria; 23 (5):420-6, septiembre-octubre de 2009.

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology

Related Reproductive Health Articles from Brightsurf:

Immune functions traded in for reproductive success
Researchers at the MPI of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg, Germany, and the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, for the first time, investigate the phenomenon of sexual parasitism in deep-sea anglerfish.

COVID-19 affects adolescent and young adults sexual and reproductive health
Social distancing and limited access to contraceptive and abortion care during the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young adults according to a new study.

Centring sexual and reproductive health and justice in the global COVID-19 response
The Lancet commentary 'Centring sexual and reproductive health and justice in the global COVID-19 response' highlights the detrimental impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic response on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

ACR releases reproductive health guideline for patients with rheumatic diseases
Today, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) published the 2020 Guideline for the Management of Reproductive Health in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

Research reverses the reproductive clock in mice
Researchers have lifted fertility rates in older female mice with small doses of a metabolic compound that reverses the ageing process in eggs, offering hope for some women struggling to conceive.

Women with PCOS experience poor health and quality of life beyond reproductive years
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) experience poor health and quality of life into their late forties, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

What we're learning about the reproductive microbiome
Most research has focused on the oral, skin, and gut microbiomes, but bacteria, viruses, and fungi living within our reproductive systems may also affect sperm quality, fertilization, embryo implantation, and other aspects of conception and reproduction.

One-third of reproductive age women have health conditions that may complicate pregnancy
One in three women of reproductive age have at least one chronic condition that could compromise their health or lead to adverse outcomes during pregnancy, according to University of Utah Health scientists.

The reproductive function of the clitoris
A recent review published in Clinical Anatomy highlights evidence that the female clitoris is important for reproduction.

Leading experts in high-risk pregnancies issue report on reproductive health services
The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), hosted a two-day workshop entitled 'Reproductive Services for Women at High Risk for Maternal Mortality.' The workshop was held in conjunction with SMFM's 39th Annual Pregnancy Meeting in February 2019 and was co-sponsored by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Fellowship in Family Planning, and Society of Family Planning.

Read More: Reproductive Health News and Reproductive Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.