All workers, male and female, should be protected from toxic exposures at work. Additionally, during pregnancy, a health care worker needs to take all the precautions she would normally take to protect herself. Chemicals that are reproductive hazards include:
- Ethylene oxide
- Antineoplastic and other hazardous drugs
- Inhalation anesthetic agents, particularly nitrous oxide
The exposure control plans for each of these agents is sufficient to protect all workers. Follow the safety procedures for storage and handling and use personal protective equipment to handle these chemicals. Special precautions are needed when working with ribavirin, a drug sometimes used to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). More detail is available in our article on RSV exposure in pregnancy.