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Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1993 Mar;54(3):113-20.

An overview of occupational hazards among veterinarians, with particular reference to pregnant women.

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  • 1Epidemiology Branch, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD 20857.


Veterinarians are challenged by an imposing group of occupational hazards, including exposure to ionizing radiation, injury, infectious agents, and chemicals. In this paper, the health hazards in the typical veterinary practice are inventoried, and the risks of each are assessed. During the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in women entering the veterinary profession. Information is presented concerning the impact of various occupational hazards on the health of female practitioners and paraprofessionals, particularly in regard to the reproductive system. Many of the occupational hazards are exclusively, or more significantly, detrimental to females (particularly when pregnant) and to their unborn. Women must be aware of and avoid these hazards in their clinical environment. The purpose of this review is to assist practitioners in identifying and assessing the hazards in their practice and determining what steps must be taken to eliminate or reduce them.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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