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Safer Healthier Workers

Selected Category: Women

Protecting Nail Salon Workers

Categories: Chemicals, Ergonomics, Service Sector, Women

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Last week, the New York Times published a two-part series highlighting what it characterized as exploitative employment practices and unsafe working conditions for nail salon workers, including exposures to hazardous chemicals. On the heels of the reports, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 11 ordered emergency measures in the state “to prevent unlawful practices and unsafe working conditions in the nail salon industry.”

NIOSH Study Evaluates Risks for Pregnant Flight Attendants

Categories: Reproductive Health, Women

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Some job hazards for flight attendants have changed greatly over the years. For example, while U.S. flight attendants are no longer exposed to second hand smoke at work, today there are heightened safety concerns due to terrorism , but some hazards have been present on the job since the first flight attendants started working. Flight attendants often travel across time zones, working when others normally sleep, and are exposed to cosmic radiation from the sun and space. A NIOSH study published earlier this year examined the risks of cosmic radiation, circadian disruption (from working during normal sleep hours), and other work exposures on pregnancy outcomes for flight attendants.

Can Workplace Exposures Increase Risks of Birth Defects? – Epidemiology in Action

Categories: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing, Epidemiology, Exposure, Reproductive Health, Women

Epidemiology is the art and science of using data to answer questions about the health of groups. In occupational epidemiology, we use that data to understand how work affects health. This blog entry is part of a series that shares the stories behind the data.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women get a lot of advice from just about everyone on just about everything– what to eat, medications to avoid, how much exercise they should do. When it comes to their jobs, though, the advice seems to dry up. That’s because occupational exposure limits are based on studies of healthy, non-pregnant workers and many early studies of occupational hazards were limited to men. These recommended exposure limits might not be sufficient to protect a developing fetus. We are trying to find out whether things people were exposed to at work like chemicals, noise, shift work, radiation, or germs affect their pregnancy outcomes and health of their children. One of the outcomes we study is birth defects.

Women in Science

Categories: Women

“When I grow up, I want to be an industrial hygienist.” Hearing a ten-year-old girl say those words would probably warrant a double take. While there might be some little girls out there dreaming about one day conducting research and working in a laboratory, studies suggest that more often, it’s a ten-year-old boy who will have the dream and will realize it when he grows up. The reality is that a disproportionately smaller number of women than men follow careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Scientific organizations agree that a better balance is needed. Perhaps, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, more girls will one day enthusiastically say, “epidemiologist, health communication specialist, medical officer, engineer, psychologist!”

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