Many workplaces contain toxic chemicals and other hazards that can affect your health. Some chemicals pose special concerns during pregnancy because they can cause miscarriage, affect growth or development, or cause birth defects.
Getting the information you need is the first step towards preventing harm. This website provides an easy to use, step by step guide to getting educated about workplace exposures and how you can protect yourself and your baby from harm. Click through the six steps below for more information and be sure to either view or download a printable version of the Work Matters brochure.
STEP 1: Find Out Which Chemicals You May Be Exposed To
Knowing the chemicals you may be exposed to at work is the first step towards being able to prevent harmful exposures. Your employer is required to provide you with this critical information, but it is also important that you know what to look for on your own. Click to go to Step 1.
STEP 2: Find Out About the Health Effects of the Chemicals You May Be Exposed To
Once you have identified a list of chemicals that you may be exposed to at work it is important to understand how each can affect your health. This will help you identify the specific chemicals that pose the greatest threat to your health and pregnancy. Click to go to Step 2.
STEP 3: Know How You and Your Baby Can Be Exposed to Chemicals
It is impossible to control the types of toxic chemicals used in your workplace, but you can educate yourself on the most common routes of exposure. This knowledge will help you better protect yourself from harmful exposures. Click to go to Step 3.
STEP 4: Be Aware of Harmful Exposures
The type of chemical you are exposed to, the amount, and how and when you are exposed are important factors in determining whether your exposure will be harmful. Click to go to Step 4.
STEP 5: Prevent Harmful Exposures
Completely avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals is the best way to protect your health. Most workplace chemicals have not been tested for reproductive and developmental health effects and therefore, you cannot rely on legal limits as an assurance of protection. However, if you cannot avoid chemical exposure all together, there are a variety of ways to keep exposure as low as possible. Click to go to Step 5.
Know Your Rights
As an employee, you have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. This basic right includes the right to information and training on harmful chemical exposures and protection against them. You also have the right to protection against pregnancy discrimination and to family and medical leave. Click to find out more.