Take care to protect your developing fetus from dangerous substances during your pregnancy:
Nail polish, artificial nails, hair dyes, and hair permanents all contain strong chemicals. There is not very much research about the use of these products during pregnancy. It is always a good idea to reduce your exposure to these chemicals and be sure the room is well-ventilated. For more information about the effects that chemicals can have on a fetus, see the Organization of Teratology Information Services website at www.otispregnancy.org.
A single diagnostic X-ray , such as a dental X-ray, does not harm your fetus.3 But it's still a good idea to avoid unnecessary X-rays. If an X-ray is necessary, be sure to tell the technician that you are pregnant. Many X-rays can be delayed until after pregnancy. If X-rays are necessary, they can be performed with a lead apron that shields your belly.
If you travel by plane frequently on business or as an airline pilot, flight attendant, air marshal, or courier, it is possible for you to exceed the cosmic radiation limit considered safe during pregnancy (1 millisievert, or mSv). Although the occasional flight doesn't pose a risk, frequent low-altitude domestic flights or several high-altitude international flights may increase a fetus's risk of developing cancer during childhood.4
The radiation from electrical appliances such as televisions, computers, or electric blankets (electromagnetic radiation) has not been shown to cause birth defects. Electric blankets or water bed heaters can be used to warm the bed, but it is a good idea to turn them off when you get into bed so that you don't become overheated.
- Shannon MW (2007). Lead. In MW Shannon et al., eds., Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed., pp. 1129–1146. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2004). What you need to know about mercury in fish and shellfish: 2004 EPA and FDA advice for women who might become pregnant, women who are pregnant, nursing mothers, young children. Available online: http://www.epa.gov/fishadvisories/advice.
- Cunningham FG, et al. (2010). General considerations and maternal evaluation. In Williams Obstetrics, 23rd ed., pp. 912–925. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Barish RJ (2004). In-flight radiation exposure during pregnancy. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 103(6): 1326–1330.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Kirtly Jones, MD, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Last Revised||November 10, 2010|
Last Revised: November 10, 2010
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