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Inhalation anesthetics and the reproductive risk associated with occupational exposure among women working in veterinary anesthesia


Correspondence: Sandra Allweiler, Department of Clinical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 West Drake Road, Fort Collins, CO, USA. E-mail:



To investigate reproductive health issues for women working in veterinary anesthesia compared with those working in veterinary critical care. Reproductive health issues were classified as time to conceive, fertility treatment, miscarriage, and children with birth defects.

Study design

Questionnaire-based survey.


A survey was designed to assess the reproductive health of female personnel working in veterinary anesthesia. To account for other job related factors that might impact reproductive health (i.e. stress, heavy lifting, long working hours and varying schedules), women working in veterinary critical care were used as a comparison group.


There were 295 respondents including, (209 faculty and staff working in veterinary anesthesia and 86 in veterinary critical care).

There were no statistical differences in length of time to conceive, number of couples receiving fertility treatment, miscarriages, and children with birth defects between the two groups.


This study did not show a statistically significant difference in reproductive risk for women working in veterinary anesthesia when compared to women working in veterinary critical care. Overall the incidence for reproductive health problems is similar to the risk for the general population of females in North America.