Reproductive health risks associated with occupational exposures to antineoplastic drugs in health care settings a review of the evidence

Thomas H. Connor, Christina C. Lawson, Martha Polovich, Melissa A. McDiarmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Antineoplastic drugs are known reproductive and developmental toxicants. Our objective was to review the existing literature of reproductive health risks to workers who handle antineoplastic drugs. Methods: A structured literature review of 18 peer-reviewed, English language publications of occupational exposure and reproductive outcomes was performed. Results: Although effect sizes varied with study size and population, occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs seems to raise the risk of both congenital malformations and miscarriage. Studies of infertility and time to pregnancy also suggested an increased risk for subfertility. Conclusions: Antineoplastic drugs are highly toxic in patients receiving treatment, and adverse reproductive effects have been well documented in these patients. Health care workers with long-term, low-level occupational exposure to these drugs also seem to have an increased risk of adverse reproductive outcomes. Additional precautions to prevent exposure should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-910
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume56
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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