Jun 26, 2019

Protecting pregnant employees who work with chemicals

Lists for pregnant employee chemicals to avoid.  

When reviewing (SDS) safety data sheet's, in addition to Section 11, Toxicology,
Also review the hazard statements in Section 2,
Hazards Identification, where you may see something like "H360 May damage fertility or the unborn child."

While there is not ONE definitive list of reproductive toxinS, here are some lists of reproductive toxins:

Japan has a list

EU does too

SDS NOTE: An issue with products used in the workplace is that they are often mixtures of chemicals. Maybe a chemical that is a reproductive toxin will be 10 percent of the contents of a mixture. The manufacturer needs to write a safety data sheet. That doesn't mean that they will write a good one. For example, at least in the past, many products that contained bis-phenol A did not include any information on endocrine disruption, although bis-phenol A was a well-known estrogen mimic. In the absence of time-consuming research, you can be at the mercy of the manufacturer.

Jun 25, 2019

Study: fertilizer is root cause for increased global methane emissions, not cows

While the cattle industry is repeatedly accused of being the main culprit for increased global methane emissions (and a leading cause for climate change), a new study shows that the fertilizer industry is the root cause.

The report by researchers from Cornell, published in Elementa, shows that emissions of methane from the industrial fertilizer industry have been ridiculously underestimated (and, it turns out, based on self-reporting) and the production of ammonia for fertilizer may result in up to 100 times more emissions than previously estimated for this sector. What's worse is that these newly calculated emission amounts from the industrial fertilizer industry are actually more than the total amount the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated for all industries to emit across the U.S.

Full study here:

Anesthetic Gas: A Risk for Veterinary Workers

There is increasing evidence that exposure to isoflurane, the anesthetic gas commonly used in veterinary practice, may pose health risks, including nervous or reproductive system harm.

A new Workplace Hazard Update, Isoflurane May Harm Veterinary Worker Health (PDF), details how staff are exposed. It also provides guidance for minimizing exposure.

A California Department of Public Health investigation found high levels of isoflurane in workers' breathing zones during common veterinary procedures. Staff at veterinary practices were often unaware of the dangers of isoflurane, Cal/OSHA requirements, and ways they can protect themselves from the hazard.

Did you know?

Cal/OSHA has set a legal limit on the maximum level of isoflurane that can be in the air workers breathe. This Permissible Exposure Limit, or PEL, for isoflurane is 2 parts per million (ppm). CDPH found that many veterinarians, clinic owners, and workers were unaware of this regulation.

Email Occupational Health Watch with feedback about this update or change of address.

Two veterinary workers wearing masks, surgical gloves, and hats operate on a dog in a clinic.

Veterinary staff may be unaware that anesthetic gas is getting in the air they breathe.



Isoflurane May Harm Veterinary Worker Health (PDF) – OHB workplace hazard update
Recommendations on Control of Waste Anesthetic Gases in the
Workplace (PDF) – American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia
Guidelines for Workplace Exposures to Anesthetic Gases – OSHA