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15 Reproductive Health Outcome from Chemical Exposure in a Drug Laboratory in Malaysia
  1. C W Hoe
  1. University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract

Introduction Chemicals in the workplaces have been known to cause various health effects to the workers range from just irritation to causing cancers. A risk assessment was conducted in a hospital based dangerous drug monitoring laboratory in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Methods The method is a Qualitative Risk Assessment method using the combination techniques of Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) and the Job Safety Analysis (JSA). A questionnaire survey on the medical and health problem faced by the staff was also distributed during the survey.

Results The assessment found that four of the workers gave adverse reproductive health outcome; a 25 years old female worker having history of spontaneous abortion and was unable to conceive, a 51 years old female worker has two spontaneous abortions and ectopic pregnancy, and a 33 years old male and 32 years old female worker with primary infertility. The risk assessment has identified all workers were at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals due to the general ventilation. The chemicals are Chloroform, n-Hexane, Methanol, and Isopropyl alcohol which are known to have evidence of reproductive effect.

Discussion Earlier researches have shows an association between exposure to chloroform and volatile organic compound to infertility and abortion. This study had found the association between exposure to chloroform and VOC with abortion and infertility. There should be more emphasis on the safety and health of workers working with chemicals in the workplace.

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