If you’re planning to get pregnant, or you’re currently pregnant, pay attention to your occupational and environmental surroundings. Infinite studies find negative correlations between radiation exposure and higher infertility rates, increased pregnancy risks, as well as higher rates of chromosomal and genetic abnormalities.
For more detailed information about radiation and its effects on pregnancy, visit The March of Dimes’ page on Radiation and Pregnancy. And, if you feel you or your partner at a higher-than-normal risk of radiation exposure, speak to your healthcare provider ASAP for customized, medical support.
The good news is that basic precautions go a long way to minimizing the detrimental impacts of unhealthy radiation exposure.
Know the Radiation Risks Before You Conceive
If you’re planning to get pregnant, odds are your doctor encourages you to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy, considering lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and healthy sleep habits.
We’d encourage you to go a step further and evaluate if you or your partner are experiencing higher-than-healthy doses of radiation. Some things to consider to minimize daily risks of radiation exposure include:
Knowing the ins-and-outs of your workplace
We’ve put together a list of “radioactive jobs or careers” associated with radiation exposure. However, it’s worth asking your employer whether or not you are exposed at work. It could be that you work in the office, and the manufacturing floor uses radioactive products, in which case you need to know so you can avoid certain areas or protect yourself accordingly.
If you already know you work in a place housing or utilizing radioactive materials, speak to your manager or owner about your concerns. They may opt to move you into a different position, to order higher-level protective products for you, or to place you on a paid leave until you’ve safely given birth to your healthy baby.
Have your home tested for radon
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive material found in the earth. However, some regions are more radon-rich than others, and this odorless/colorless radioactive material can build up in homes or buildings that aren’t adequately ventilated or protected.
Have your home and water sources tested for radon to determine whether or not modifications should be made to bring radon levels down into the safe zone.
Make sure to inform health professionals
While lead blankets go a long way towards protecting you and your baby from radiation exposure during an x-ray or other medical procedures, don’t rely on them completely. Always let healthcare providers know you are trying to conceive or that you are pregnant. They may opt to take extra special measures – or skip those procedures altogether until a later date – to prevent you from harmful radiation exposure.
Inform airport security
Technically, the current security scanning devices used by TSA are considered safe. However, we recommend not taking your chances at all. When pregnant or accompanied by a baby or small child, TSA professionals will let you walk through the metal detectors instead. This may mean requiring an additional pat-down afterward, but these are always done in full view of the public (you can opt for a private screening if you prefer), and very respectfully, with a clear explanation of exactly what they’re doing.
Re-think how/where you use cell phones, laptops, and other Wi-Fi gadgets
Product manufacturers and the government consider cell phones, and other wi-fi gadgets to operate at safe levels when it comes to the electromagnetic (radioactive) energy levels they expose users to on a daily basis.
However, there have been some studies that link laptop and cellphone use to lower/poor sperm count and quality, and damage to DNA. So, the scientific world is continually debating the safety/harm ratios of these devices and the electromagnetic energy used to run them – especially as more Wi-Fi hotspots and cell phone towers populate the environment. We recommend using blue-tooth options whenever possible and keeping cell phones and Wi-Fi devices away from the groin and pelvic regions for extra protection.
Know the signs of radiation sickness
If you do work in a radioactive environment, pay close attention to physical signs and symptoms. Many of the same symptoms that affect women during pregnancy are also symptoms of radiation sickness. Keep in close touch with your healthcare provider if your “pregnancy symptoms” concern you or seem atypical to you.
Above All, Don’t Panic
While it’s true that radiation can be harmful to your reproductive system and/or a developing fetus, we also know that stress is harmful to you and your baby. Since stress is more common than radiation, we don’t want to cause any unnecessary alarm or fear.
Just pay attention to your environments and your daily habits, and take precautions as you see fit. Some types of daily doses of radiation are entirely normal, and humans have evolved to accommodate these.
If, however, you feel your exposure to radiation goes beyond that, it’s wise to take action. If a geographic or career change isn’t an option, contact us here at Lancs Industries. In addition to having a wealth of radiation shielding products available, we also specialize in custom orders. Our team can work with you to determine your level of exposure and the types of radiation protection that make the most sense for you.
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