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Almost two-thirds of pregnant women believe they are regularly exposed to physical risk at work
Date:12/17/2009

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", M Carmen Gonzlez, 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 Gonzlez.

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
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Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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