Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Ionizing Radiation

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Ionizing Radiation Menu Workers' Rights

Pregnant Workers

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) maintains a webpage on reproductive health and the workplace, which includes information about reproductive hazards from occupational exposure to ionizing radiation and occupational settings that may be associated with such hazards.

NIOSH also provides information for aircrew (pilots and flight attendants) exposed to cosmic ionizing radiation at levels that may be of concern during pregnancy.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Standards for Protection Against Radiation (10 CFR 20) require licensees to limit exposure to the embryo/fetus of an occupationally exposed individual to 500 mrem (5 mSv) or less during pregnancy for a declared pregnant worker who is exposed to radiation from licensed radioactive materials (10 CFR 20.1208) including radionuclides. Under NRC's definitions (10 CFR 20.1003), a declared pregnant worker is a worker who has voluntarily informed the employer, in writing, of the pregnancy and the estimated date of conception. The declaration remains in effect until the declared pregnant worker withdraws the declaration in writing or is no longer pregnant.

The NRC's Instruction Concerning Prenatal Radiation Exposure, Regulatory Guide 8.13, provides information to pregnant women, and other personnel, to help them make decisions regarding radiation exposure during pregnancy.

International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 2007 recommendations include a limit of radiation exposure to a member of the general public of 100 mrem/year (1 mSv/year) and a limit for the fetus of an occupationally exposed individual of 100 mrem (1 mSv) for a declared pregnant worker during the pregnancy. See Publication 103: The 2007 Recommendations of the International Commission on Radiological Protection.

Publication 90: Biological Effects after Prenatal Irradiation (Embryo and Fetus) discusses pregnancy, radiation during pregnancy, health effects, and radiation protection.

Publication 88: Doses to the Embryo and Fetus from Intakes of Radionuclides by the Mother provides specific recommendations on the control of radiation exposures to pregnant workers after intakes of radionuclides before or during pregnancy.

National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP)

National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP) Report No. 128: Radionuclide Exposure of the Embryo/Fetus contains information on the effects of radiation exposure during pregnancy. It also provides radiation dose estimates for 83 radionuclides.

NCRP Report No. 116: Limitation of Exposure to Ionizing Radiation recommends an effective dose limit for radiation exposure to a member of the general public of 100 mrem/year (1 mSv/year) and an equivalent dose limit for the fetus of an occupationally exposed individual of 50 mrem (0.5 mSv) per month during the pregnancy.

Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD)

The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) Suggested State Regulations for Control of Radiation currently recommend in Subpart D: Standards for Protection Against Radiation that the dose equivalent to the fetus due to occupational exposure of a declared pregnant worker be kept below 500 mrem (5 mSv) during the pregnancy.

Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI)

The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) published a consensus document concerning radiation exposure to pregnant individuals working in heart (cardiac) catheterization facilities, including interventional cardiologists, technicians, and nurses. SCAI Consensus Document on Occupational Radiation Exposure to the Pregnant Cardiologist and Technical Personnel reviewed current scientific data about risk to the fetus from occupational radiation exposure and recommended measures that pregnant physicians, technicians, and nurses should take to reduce radiation exposure.

Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR)

The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) jointly published Occupational Radiation Protection of Pregnant or Potentially Pregnant Workers in Interventional Radiology: A Joint Guideline of the Society of Interventional Radiology and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Society of Europe with guidance for radiation protection for pregnant workers for fluoroscopically-guided interventional procedures.

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