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Barriers for the prevention of chemical exposures in pregnant and breast-feeding workers?
  1. Dolores Romano,
  2. Neus Moreno
  1. Trade Union Institute of Work, Environment and Health (ISTAS), Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dolores Romano, Instituto Sindical de Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud (ISTAS), c/ General Cabrera 21, E-28020 Madrid, Spain; dromano{at}

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The working environment is an important source of exposure to toxic substances and other risk factors for pregnant workers.1 European Pregnant Workers Directive 92/85 obliges employers to protect workers and to avoid risks for reproduction, pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, effective protection of pregnant and breast-feeding workers against risks posed by dangerous chemicals encounters several barriers.

The identification of substances that are dangerous for pregnancy and breastfeeding is difficult, due to the lack of information on the intrinsic properties of the majority of chemicals. There is little or no toxicity data for 75 000 substances on the European market,2 and risks for reproduction have been evaluated for …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.