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    Reproductive Health

    Last updated on May 2nd, 2022 at 03:48 pm

    Reproductive Health Resources

    Women have significant exposure to agricultural work and therefore related health and safety risks from farm exposures. Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, especially those currently performing farm work, should be informed of the implications of exposure before, during, and after pregnancy, and assisted in making decisions that are appropriate for their individual work and home situations. Read about general reproductive hazards from MedlinePlus. However, there are hazards specific to agriculture.

    Hazards

    Risks to women who are pregnant or planning to be pregnant include:

    Herbicides

    Herbicides are used to kill undesirable plants or weeds.

    Exposures: Mixing and applying herbicides and fungicides up to 2 years before attempting conception is associated with observed lower fertility.

    Risk: Could lower rates of fertility.

    Needlestick Injuries

    Needlestick injuries are wounds caused by needles that accidentally puncture the skin.

    Exposures: Livestock production hormones Oxytocin and Prostaglandin

    Risk: May cause abortion in pregnant women.

    Carbon Monoxide

    Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal, or other fuel.

    Exposures: Livestock buildings and high pressure washers

    Risk: High for women and elevated risk in unborn fetus including low birth weight and slowed mental development.

    Zoonotic Diseases

    Zoonotic diseases (also known as zoonoses) are caused by infections that spread between animals and people. Pregnant women have an altered immune system during pregnancy.

    Exposures: Direct/indirect contact, vector-borne, foodborne

    Risk: May cause abortion in pregnant women.

    Nitrate Toxicity

    Infants who are fed formula made with water high in nitrate concentrations (>10 mg/L) have the potential to be poisoned.

    Risk: A congenital health disease known as Blue Baby Syndrome

    PPE

    Personal protective equipment can reduce the risk of agricultural hazards to women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Appropriate PPE includes:

    • Coveralls
    • Eyewear
    • Respiratory protection
    • Footwear

    Reproductive Health Resources

    Articles

    Fact Sheets

    IDTitleSummaryCategoriesLinkdoc_categories_hfilter
    8417Reproductive Health Exposures for Women in Agriculture

    A guide designed to help women protect their reproductive health when working in agriculture.
    Spanish Title: Riesgos de la salud reproductiva femenina en la agricultura

    women
    8421Riesgos de la salud reproductiva femenina en la agricultura

    A Spanish language guide designed to help women protect their reproductive health when working in agriculture.
    English Title: Reproductive Health Exposures for Women in Agriculture

    , spanish-language women
    8423Take Charge of Your Health – Women Working in Agriculture

    This fact sheet is designed to highlight the unique risk factors for women working in agriculture. Practical solutions are offered to assist farm women in maintaining a healthy and productive farming future.

    women

    Webinars

    Page updated: April 2022