Study points to anesthetic gases, radiation and pesticides as probable causes
THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Women veterinarians have double the risk of miscarriage, apparently the result of being exposed to anesthetic gases, radiation and pesticides in their line of work, a new study found.
Not only do veterinarians need to be fully aware of the risks, but veterinary offices and labs need to be managed better, the researchers said.
"We found that not all practices complied with safety guidelines," said study lead author Adeleh Shirangi, honorary research associate in the department of epidemiology and public health at Imperial College London, England. "Lead shields, protective thyroid collars and lead glasses are examples of established protective equipment which are not frequently used by veterinarians."
Dr. Richard Jones, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, said: "The good thing about this study is that it basically confirms and reminds us of what we already knew about exposures. This makes a valuable contribution to the evidence already in the U.S. recommending limitations of exposure of women of childbearing age to anesthetic gases, radiation and pesticides."
Jones, who's also director of the maternal fetal medicine program at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas, added that the information in the new study didn't come as a surprise to him. Already in hospitals, many procedures are in place to protect personnel from the harmful effects of radiation and other exposures. The veterinary world, however, is not as rigorously regulated, he said.
The study was published online April 3 in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Previous research has linked miscarriages to exposure to anesthetic gases, radiation and pesticides during pregnancy.
One study by the same autho
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