Pregnancy and chemicals?

Now, for a question for the woman in the group.
Has anyone here ever been concerned about the chemicals that we use and the vapors from substances and their effects on being pregnant? What did you do? How did you get around the problem?

1 Like

Since no one has answered you yet, I’ll start.

I’m not a woman, but I’ve worked with a number of pregnant jewelers in my career. Most recently, I co-taught in the school that I work at with a woman who had four babies in four years. That was a lot of time being pregnant at work. We both learned a lot about how to manage her pregnancies in a healthy supportive way, in a multi-use jewelry studio with a pile of students doing many things at once.

Your question is actually very complicated, with an endless stream of potential variables. The biggest is what do you do and use in your work? Like do you just do soldering, pickling, buffing, etc? Or do you use cyanide based plating solutions? Those are two theoretical ends of our jewelry making spectrum.

My advice to you is to create a list of every technical process that you use and every chemical that you use. Also a list of how you protect yourself now. For example do you use chemicals outdoors, by an open window or have an OSHA approved fume hood. My point is that having excellent protection from dust and fumes goes a long way to protecting yourself.

When you look at your list of chemicals and process, the next thing to do is to ask yourself can I replace any of this with something safer or is completely safe?

Finally, when you get your list of chemicals and technical processes, it’s going to be very smart to go over that list with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you what you need to stay away from completely, what is maybe okay and what is safe.

Feel free to share your list with the forum. I’m sure some of our women members will have some great advice.

I’m guessing this is you who is pregnant. Huge congratulations to you!! What a wonderful thing!! Very exciting!

All the best,

1 Like

Thank you for the great feedback. No, I’m not pregnant. My co-worker wants to be. She is very concerned about chemicals fumes, and particles.
I will go over your comments with her and report back.

1 Like

Like I said it really depends on what the chemicals, fumes and particles are and what kind of workplace ventilation and safety equipment that you folks have.

One thing to remember is that all chemicals and most materials have Safety Data Sheets (SDS), which lists a pile of safety related info. This includes all buffing compounds, the metals that we use, solders, patinas, plating solutions, all materials for casting. Pretty much everything.

For example, I just typed in “gold solder” into the Rio Grande search engine. At the top of the page was a place to click for Safety Information. This led to every SDS on gold solder at Rio Grande (four pages). This is the kind of info that your friend can share with her doctor as her doctor will able to see on a chemical level what’s involved in what she does at work.

I will say that my coworker’s biggest issue with being pregnant at work was a lot of back pain. That was something that she didn’t anticipate and made it very hard for her to get through the work day.

She doesn’t teach at our school anymore, but I just ran into her a few days ago. She’s doing great and has four healthy children.

Your co-worker is very lucky to have someone like you on her team watching out for her!

Let us know if you need anything else.


1 Like

She has taken all the safety sheets to he doctor. She came back with a lot of “No’s”.
Her main concerns are in soldering, polishing and the particles that rubber wheels and separating disc brake down into.

1 Like


i had a thought…perhaps your friend could take this time to learn a jewelry skill that doesnt involve chemicals, dust, etc…

when my mom was declining, i needed to be more available, flexible, mobile… i took the opportunity to take a school-like deep dive approach to learning the CAD software program Matrix/MatrixGold…time well spent!

perhaps there are other projects and techniques she could investigate…

chain making inventory with wire and double flush cutters
chain maille chains
wire crochet chains
rosary bead and link chains (wire wrapped)

chain making without solder (work hardened), or with pulse arc welding(?)

wire wrapping
beading/ stringing
making clasp hooks and eyes inventory

using cold connections
roller printing
stamping, stamp making(!)
making elements for inventory

learning engraving
learning stone setting (with gravers) fishtail, castle, pave
learning pulse arc welding
learning CAD
learning wax carving

learning to sketch/ draw/ perspective drawing



1 Like

Thanks Julie, she really wants to learn CAD, but it doesn’t look like she is going to be payed to do that.
I was just wondering what women who were pregnant and continue to work at the bench did. If they took any extra precautions and what.