Reproductive health and occupational hazards | Updated: 2022-03-23
Occupational hazards are mostly absorbed by breathing, through skin contact or by drinking and eating. They can also be brought by family members to homes. For example, lead can be brought back to one's home from the workplace through skin, hair, clothes, shoes, tool boxes or automobiles, and may cause harm to family members’ health, especially to children. Whether a woman or her child is affected by occupational hazards depends on the type of hazardous substance, and the amount, time, duration and way of exposure.
Too much pressure at work or exposure to carbon disulfide and other chemical substances can disturb the balance between the brain, pituitary gland and ovaries, which may cause imbalance between estrogen and progesterone as well as changes in the length and regularity of menstrual cycles and ovulation. Severe or persistent hormonal imbalance may affect the general health conditions of women.
Infertility and subfertility
Exposure at some workplaces can harm eggs or sperm, or affect the hormone level needed to regulate a normal menstrual cycle. 
The main causes of miscarriages and stillbirths
Eggs or sperm are damaged, so eggs can’t be fertilized or cannot survive after fertilization;
The hormonal system that maintains the need for pregnancy may have problems;
Embryos do not develop normally;
Problems exist in the uterus or cervix uterus.
Birth defects
With the improvement of genetic testing, most defects can be detected in early pregnancy.
Most causes of birth defects are unknown. Exposure to some hazardous factors in pregnancy can cause increases in the birth defect rate. 
About 4 to 6 percent of infants are born with birth defects. However, birth defects caused by genetic factors only account for a minority. 
Low birth weight and premature birth
Malnutrition, smoking and drinking during pregnancy are the causes of low birth weights and premature births.
Infants with a low birth weight and premature infants are more likely to get sick or die.
Fetal developmental disorders
If the fetal brain doesn’t develop properly, it will cause developmental retardation and learning disorder.
These disorders cannot be detected at birth and are hard to measure. They may be temporary or permanent and can vary from mild to severe. 
Childhood cancers
Exposure to ionizing radiation, some organic solvents, heavy metals and other harmful factors during pregnancy may cause an increase of childhood cancer. Pregnant women should try their best to avoid exposure to ionizing radiation and related harmful factors, use safe processes and equipment and properly use protective facilities and personal protective articles to reduce the harmful effect of occupational exposure on fetuses.