The Effects of Workplace Hazards on Female Reproductive Health


February 1999
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 99-104
cover of 99-104

Many factors can affect a woman’s reproductive health and her ability to produce healthy children. We know that the health of an unborn child can suffer if a woman fails to eat right, smokes, or drinks alcohol during pregnancy. However, we know very little about the cause of most reproductive health problems such as infertility, miscarriage, and birth defects. We do know that some workplace hazards can affect a woman’s reproductive health, her ability to become pregnant, or the health of her unborn children.

This document answers the following questions:

  • What are reproductive hazards for female workers?
  • How does the female reproductive system work?
  • What reproductive problems might be caused by workplace exposures?
  • How are workers and their babies exposed?
  • How are families exposed?
  • How can exposures be prevented?
  • What additional information is available from NIOSH?
Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014