Female vets at risk of miscarriage from anesthetic gases and pesticides

April 3, 2008

Female vets run twice the risk of miscarriage as a result of exposure to anaesthetic gases and pesticides, suggests a study published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The findings prompt the authors to call for young female vets to be more clearly advised of the risks they run, should they want to become pregnant.

The study is based on a survey of women taking part in the Health Risks of Australian Veterinarians Project (HRAV).

This surveyed all those graduating from Australian veterinary schools between 1960 and 2000.

Of the 5700 graduates contacted, some 2800 responded, of whom 1200 were women.

Between them, these women reported a total of 1355 pregnancies, 940 of which occurred while working in clinical practice, and so were eligible for inclusion in the study.

Women carrying out surgery and exposed to anaesthetic gases that were not filtered out of the atmosphere, for an hour or more a week, were almost 2.5 times more likely to miscarry.

Female vets who used pesticides during the course of their work were also twice as likely to miscarry.

And those who performed more than five x rays a week were around 80% more likely to miscarry than those performing fewer procedures.

When the researchers restricted their analyses to those women graduating more recently—between 1980 and 2000—the results were similar.

The authors warn that female vets of childbearing age “should be fully informed of the possible reproductive effects of ionising radiation, unscavenged anaesthetic gases, and exposure to pesticides.”

Women should take protective measures when they are planning to conceive and during pregnancy, they warn. But all staff working in these areas should be aware of the risks and protect themselves accordingly, they suggest.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: Governments weigh options to brake climate peril (Update)

Related Stories

Governments weigh options to brake climate peril (Update)

April 7, 2014
Government envoys and scientists gathered under the UN banner in Berlin Monday to hammer out a list of options for curbing carbon emissions driving dangerous climate change.

Recommended for you

Drug therapy from lethal bacteria could reduce kidney transplant rejection

August 3, 2017
An experimental treatment derived from a potentially deadly microorganism may provide lifesaving help for kidney transplant patients, according to an international study led by investigators at Cedars-Sinai.

Exploring the potential of human echolocation

June 25, 2017
People who are visually impaired will often use a cane to feel out their surroundings. With training and practice, people can learn to use the pitch, loudness and timbre of echoes from the cane or other sounds to navigate ...

Team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from infected donors

April 30, 2017
Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing ...

'bench to bedside to bench': Scientists call for closer basic-clinical collaborations

March 24, 2017
In the era of genome sequencing, it's time to update the old "bench-to-bedside" shorthand for how basic research discoveries inform clinical practice, researchers from The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), National Human Genome Research ...

The ethics of tracking athletes' biometric data

January 18, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—Whether it is a FitBit or a heart rate monitor, biometric technologies have become household devices. Professional sports leagues use some of the most technologically advanced biodata tracking systems to ...

Financial ties between researchers and drug industry linked to positive trial results

January 18, 2017
Financial ties between researchers and companies that make the drugs they are studying are independently associated with positive trial results, suggesting bias in the evidence base, concludes a study published by The BMJ ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.