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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RISKS FOR FEMALE PROFESSIONALS WHAT DO THEY KNOW ABOUT IT? Prepared by Samia Galal Saad, Ph.D. Head of the Environmental Health Dept,

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Presentation on theme: "ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RISKS FOR FEMALE PROFESSIONALS WHAT DO THEY KNOW ABOUT IT? Prepared by Samia Galal Saad, Ph.D. Head of the Environmental Health Dept,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH RISKS FOR FEMALE PROFESSIONALS WHAT DO THEY KNOW ABOUT IT? Prepared by Samia Galal Saad, Ph.D. Head of the Environmental Health Dept, High Institute of Public Health Alexandria University Consultant to the General Organization for Hospitals and Research Institutes

2 Introduction: Female working environment should be discussed under two major areas namely at the household and outside her home while carrying out her money-earning job in rural, urban or desert environment. Half the population in the Middle East region are women who are conducting more than 60%-70% of the development work which goes under estimated or even acknowledged.

3 Definition of Occupational Hazards  All physical, and psychological injuries or morbidity which a man or a woman can get exposed to as a result of their work.  Men and women exposure to biological, chemicals, heat stresses, noise, radiation and non radiating electro-magnetic waves is not strictly confined to outdoor working environment

4 *  Professional women working in medical services are one typical example of those females highly exposed to health hazards.  Female as well as male engineers, chemists, agriculture engineers, are among a wide range of workers exposed to hazardous chemicals while performing their jobs.

5 Examples of Health Hazards for Professional Women in Scientific Research Use of several instruments they know nothing about their radiating emissions, or vapor emissions or ultra- violet light beams impacts on their health. Use of hundreds of toxic, carcinogenic, abortive chemicals without knowing safety precautions of their use. In biological research especially medical research on causative biological agents to diseases they don’t follow strict infection control or wear any protective gears to prevent their infection and its impact on their health as well as the rest of their families.


7 Women and Men vulnerability to exposure risks  Men get more vulnerable when over worked, or working under occupationally unsafe conditions, mal nutritional, mentally stressed, and exposed to multiple factors at the same time.  Men morbidity due to exposure to chemicals can be enhanced by heat stress  Smoking can enhance the risk of occupational exposure

8 Women exposure During women life cycle impacts of exposure in working environment are increased during puberty, pregnancy, weaning and menopause periods. Malnutrition, heat stress, long working hours, and multiple pregnancy can increase the extent of health impacts. Bad housing conditions with less ventilation and excessive use of chemicals and pesticides, passive smoking, can enhance the risk of household exposure for both men and women

9 Women working in Research or Medical laboratories  Infection with highly hazardous infective microorganisms, aids, infectious hepatitis, TB, fungal infections. etc.  Organic solvents and volatile organic chemicals which can cause their infertility or repetitive abortion.  over exposure to metal vapors while measuring heavy metal concentrations in samples, radiation or electromagnetic waves from equipment

10 Occupational Exposure In Health Care Facilities ) Nurses(  Back and muscle Physical stress due to lifting, carrying, long standing, and frequent bending  Fatigue due to change of sleeping pattern and working night shifts.  Continuous Exposure to infectious diseases, causing respiratory track infection, blood transferred diseases (HIV, Infectious Hepatitis B& C)


12 Female Medical Doctors  Repetitive exposure to anesthesia gases during pregnancy can impact their children health specially the first trimester.  Dentists are exposed to X rays in case more than one chair in the room.

13 Female secretaries and office workers  Smoking clients and colleagues  Dusty offices, files, and dirty bathrooms  Exposure to carcinogenic and allergy inducing photocopying machines ink.  Noise and heat stress  Women working as librarian can be exposed to pesticides during controlling vectors in their libraries.

14 Pharmacists and chemical stores keepers  Continuous exposure to volatile drug components, dust, and fungus accumulating in warehouses areas.  Continuous exposure to volatile organic solvents and chemicals increasing the risk of different carcinoma and toxicity  Increased stress by crowdness.  High risk of infection due to continuous contact by sick people  Exposure to pesticides used to eradicate insects, rodents, etc.

15 What should women do to protect themselves and their families? They should read about the health risks of the equipment they use. Insist on wearing protective clothing and gears eg. Wearing gloves, masks, and/or work in dedicated places. Work in clean well ventilated areas. Insist on their rights for not being exposed to smoking. Wash their hands once in the house Insist on their rights for conducting their working in fuming hoods where evolved chemicals from reactions could be absorbed



18 Recommended Safety Procedures Strict adherence to safety and infection control protocols Avoidance of exposure due to negligence Training the staff to acknowledge their working environment risks and proper avoidance techniques Conduct of environmental audits will pinpoint all those exposures and will give solutions and interventions to eliminate them. Use of environmental friendly chemicals and replacement of all solvent based paints or cleaning operations.

19 Use of protective gears and request of laboratory changes needed for protection from metal vapors, organics vapors, etc, by the use of fuming hoods in laboratories. Use of proper safe equipment (pipettes, burettes, etc. Conduct frequent health checkups especially early detection of cancer for females handling chemicals daily in their work, or exposed to pesticides in research labs. Refrain from positive and/or negative smoking. In case of infertility or repetitive abortion women should explain their working environment to their gynecologists.


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