Production and reproduction - Stealing the health of future generations

A new booklet, featured by the European Agency for Safety and Health at work
sets out to help improve awareness of work-related reproductive hazards. They
are a vast and complex mix of varied kinds running from chemicals, through
ionizing radiation, vibration, heat, biological agents to stress and more. They
also have a wide variety of effects, including male and female infertility,
miscarriages, birth defects, impaired child development and others. And they
receive scant attention. There is probably no other sphere of health and safety
at work in which the available information is so piecemeal and lacking.

The booklet reviews and gives a broad-brush picture of the available knowledge
for a general readership. It forms part of the general work of our Institute to
develop a critical trade union approach to health and safety at work. This
particular publication deals in most detail with chemicals, but also provides
relevant information on other reproductive risks.


1. Reproduction and reproductive risks

Reproduction: a complex, delicate, continuous process

2. Old and new workplace toxicants

30 chemicals of very high concern for reproduction

Lead, a past but still very present poison

Mercury - no level is a safe level

Carbon disulphide: excitation leads to depression

Solvents: ubiquitous and hazardous

The health care sector: when prevention pays

Seeing the wood through the trees

3. Community legislation: moving jobs preferred over eliminating risks

An incoherent and ineffective jumble

Market regulation

What REACH adds

Prevention at the workplace

The Pregnant Workers Directive: ineffective and potentially discriminatory

4. Better prevention of work-related reproductive hazards

The United States: trade unions and feminist groups join forces for direct

An obstacle course

Workers, key actors in prevention

A sectoral approach is key

Include reproductive risks in national prevention strategies

The international dimension of action against reproductive hazards

5. Conclusion

More info

AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at work