Posts Tagged ‘radiation’

How to stay healthy and safe at work

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Most women who work will continue to do so during pregnancy—some will work up to the day of their baby’s birth. But sometimes working during pregnancy can have some challenges. Here are some tips that can help you stay safe and comfortable at work throughout your pregnancy.

Common pregnancy discomforts

  • Nausea: Unfortunately morning sickness can happen at any time during the day. To help manage your nausea, try to avoid foods and smells that bother you and snack on crackers or other bland foods. And make sure you are drinking lots of fluids!
  • Fatigue: Being pregnant can be exhausting—especially during the first trimester. During your work day, try to get up and walk for a few minutes or even take a power nap in your car during your lunch break. Get to bed early, exercise, and eat healthy foods.

Workplace safety

  • Dangerous substances: If you work with metals (such as mercury or lead) chemicals, or radiation, talk to your health care provider. Describe your work environment and any safety equipment you or your company uses. Your provider can then tell you if it’s safe for you to keep working during pregnancy.
  • Heat: Working in places that are very hot can raise your body temperature. If your body temperature is too high, it could be dangerous to the baby. Make sure you talk to your provider.
  • Heavy duty jobs: If your job includes heavy lifting or climbing, it might not be safe during pregnancy. Nausea, fatigue and dizziness can make it hard to do these jobs safely. And your added weight can throw off your sense of balance and make you more likely to fall. You may need to talk to your employer about taking on other job responsibilities during your pregnancy.
  • Infections: If you work with children or in a health care setting, you may be at risk for infections. Wash your hands regularly. If you think you were exposed to an illness, talk to your provider right away.

Computers and desks

If you work on a computer or sit at a desk for most of the day, comfort is key. To avoid wrist and hand discomforts, neck and shoulder pains, backaches and eye strains, follow these tips:

  • Take short breaks often and walk around your office or building.
  • Adjust your chair, keyboard and other office equipment to be more comfortable.
  • Use a small pillow or cushion for lower back support.
  • Keep your feet elevated by using a footrest.
  • Be sure to use the correct hand and arm positions for typing.
  • Use a non-reflective glass screen cover on your computer monitor.
  • Adjust the computer monitor for brightness and contrast to a setting that is comfortable for your eyes.

It’s important that the work environment around you is safe for you and baby. If you have concerns, speak with your health care provider and your supervisor at work.

You can learn more ways to stay safe at work on our website

Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Radiation concerns

Monday, March 28th, 2011

We have received several questions from people, especially pregnant women, along the west coast of the U.S. about possible negative effects that might result from any radiation coming from the disaster in Japan.  Our March of Dimes California Chapter has compiled links to great information, which we offer here.

 

If you are concerned about radiation exposures, you can find the latest information and resources at the links below, which are being updated regularly as the situation in Japan unfolds.

These websites are listed for information only and are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all resources on this issue.

California Teratogen Information Service
Toll free helpline: 1800 532 3749
Website:
http://www.mothertobabyca.org/       

California Department of Public Health
Radiation exposure information line: (916) 341-3947
Website:
http://www.cdph.ca.gov/
Radiation Frequently Asked Questions:
http://cdph.ca.gov/Pages/RadiationFAQS2011.aspx

Centers for Disease Control / US Department of Health & Human Services:
http://www.hhs.gov/response/2011tsunami/index.html

Health Physics Society
Radiation exposure information (includes information on radiation exposure during pregnancy):
http://www.hps.org/fukushima/

Full body scans and pregnancy

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

AIT Frequency GraphicI know a lot of people who are traveling this Thanksgiving. They ask, “Should I get the full body scan or pat down?”  Pregnant women are particularly anxious about the body scan with fears of too much radiation.  According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), advanced imaging technology screening is safe for all passengers, including children, pregnant women, and individuals with medical implants.

The technology used for scanning at the airport (millimeter wave or backscatter technology) is not traditional x-rays. No need to joke about glowing in the dark.  The energy projected by millimeter wave technology is thousands of times less than a cell phone transmission. A single scan using backscatter technology produces exposure equivalent to two minutes of flying on an airplane.  You can find out lots more about how all this works, privacy, frequently asked questions… at the TSA website.

Paternal exposures – can they harm a future baby?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

man-paintingYes, some can. A paternal exposure is something the father of a baby is exposed to before conception or during his partner’s pregnancy.  These exposures include drugs (prescription, over-the-counter, or illegal drugs), alcohol, cigarettes, chemotherapy, radiation.  Chemical products at work or in the environment, such as lead, organic solvents and pesticides, also fit into this category.

Unlike maternal exposures (read Things to Avoid),  paternal exposures do not appear to cause birth defects, according to current studies, but more research is needed in this area.  Some paternal exposures, however, can damage a man’s sperm quality, causing infertility or lengthy delay in conception or early pregnancy loss.  Research indicates that some exposures may cause genetic changes in sperm that might increase the risk of childhood cancer in a man’s children.

Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can seriously alter sperm, at least for a few months post treatment.  Some men opt to bank their sperm before they receive treatment to preserve its integrity.

Again, further research into to the field of paternal exposures is needed to fully understand the risks associated with them.

Cell phones and children

Friday, August 1st, 2008

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the impact that radiation from cell phones has on our health.  Radiation is energy that is sent out from certain kinds of electronic products.

A recent study done in Denmark shows that children who were in regular contact with cell phones were more likely to have behavioral problems by the time those kids were ready to start school. Children who were often exposed to cell phone radiation, either during childhood or while in their mother’s womb, had more emotional and hyperactivity issues.

Since this is just one of a few studies on the topic, the jury is still out on the safety of cell phone radiation.  In the meantime, parents can limit their children’s cell phone use as well as avoid talking on a cell phone when a child is around until more studies can be done.