Addressing the threat of occupational reproductive toxicity in Russia.
Reprod Toxicol 1994 Jan; 8(1):1-3
This editorial discussed the need for both men and women to be provided with appropriate protection to minimize possible hazards to reproductive functions while on the job in Russia. Suggestions for a conceptual model for protecting the reproductive health of the Russian population were noted. Even though the exposure limits set by the government were in many cases more stringent than those set in the United States, the availability of necessary funds to enforce these limits was not found. Women in Russia were entering occupations traditionally left for men due to the substantial losses of numbers of men in various military conflicts. Today women still constitute 51% of the Russian work force, but the current cause for their employment has shifted to economics rather than lack of male workers. Due to employer preferences, men are given better jobs and women are often relegated to occupations which may prove hazardous. The largest segment of workers in Russia are women of reproductive age. Industries cited as having had an adverse effect on the health of these women include rubber, textile and electronics industries; coke, petroleum, and copper refineries; and other industries of chemical production and agriculture. General illness has been diagnosed in 65 to 70% of pregnant Russian women. Gynecologic disorders were diagnosed among 92% of the women in the region of Chernobyl after the accident. Complications of pregnancy have been noted in 80% of women working in machine building facilities. The author suggests that the proposal of Nizyayeva may cause employers to further exclude women from the workplace and that this suggestion must be regarded as only an interim step in providing the needed protection.
NIOSH-Author; Reproductive-system-disorders; Personal-protective-equipment; Sex-factors; Developmental-disorders; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Reproductive-hazards; Agricultural-chemicals; Textiles-industry; Electronics-industry
Dr. James Kesner, Experimental Toxicology Branch, Division of Biomedical and Behavioral Science, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Mail Stop C-23, Cincinnati, OH 45226-1998