Reproductive Health and Your Work

Toxins in your workplace can affect your reproductive health, whether you are male or female.  A toxin such as lead can affect male fertility (sperm count), female fertility, and the unborn child during pregnancy.  Lead can also be toxic to children who live in older homes with paint that contains lead pigments.


MIT has designed its labs and workplaces to control exposures to toxins.  If you have concern about your work and health, you can contact the MIT Medical Department and the EHS Office for evaluations.       


The MIT Medical Department has an occupational health doctor and occupational health nurse on staff.  They are available for consultations about reproductive health concerns related to your job or research.  The consults are free to the MIT community, whether you are an employee or student.  Contact the MIT Medical Department. All medical evaluations are kept strictly confidential.


If the workplace or laboratory uses chemicals, the EHS Office can evaluate the chemicals you work with for potential hazards.  We will also evaluate the controls in place, such as protective clothing or exhaust ventilation, to make sure they are protecting you.  


In addition to chemical exposures, EHS will also evaluate other workplace factors that may affect reproductive health, including heat stress, noise, and ergonomic stresses of the job.  If the employee works with radioisotopes or ionizing radiation, the Radiation Protection Program can be contacted for an evaluation.  If certain occupational infections (hepatitis, HIV, toxoplasmosis-rubella-cytomegalovirus-herpes) are a source of concern, the Biosafety Program can be contacted for evaluation and infection control methods.


The MIT Medical Department and the EHS Office work together to provide safe work for all workers of child-bearing age.