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Fetal Protection Program

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requires each licensee ensure that the dose to an embryo/fetus during the entire pregnancy does not exceed 0.5 rem for the "declared pregnant" worker. In order to comply with this regulation, all female radiation workers are to be informed of this policy. For your information the following definitions apply:

Definitions
Declared Pregnant Worker:
A woman who voluntarily informed her employer, in writing, of her pregnancy and the estimated date of conception.
Embryo/Fetus:
The developing human organism from conception until the time of birth.
General Policy

A female radiation worker is encouraged to voluntarily notify her supervisor and Dr. Barbra A. Plohocki, RSO, in writing, when she is pregnant. Lehigh University will provide the option of a mutually agreeable assignment of work tasks, with no loss of pay or promotional opportunity, so that further occupational radiation exposure is unlikely.

Regulatory Limit

For a declared pregnant worker who chooses to continue working as a radiation worker, the following radiation dose limit will apply:

The dose limit for the embryo/fetus (during gestation period) is 500 mrem (5 sieverts). Efforts should be made to avoid exceeding 50 mrem/month to the pregnant worker. If the dose to the embryo/fetus is determined to have already exceeded 500 mrem when a worker notifies her employer of the pregnancy, the worker shall not be assigned to tasks where additional radiation exposure is likely during the remainder of the pregnancy.

The declared pregnant worker may revoke the declaration, in writing, at any time.

As the Authorized User, you are responsible for training your staff on the Fetal Protection Policy and attached Lehigh University Pregnancy Declaration Form. Keep in mind this training must be documented and a copy sent to my office for your authorized user radiation file.

Finally, call X83643 or e-mail Dr. Barbra Plohocki at bap2@lehigh.edu if you have a female who declares her pregnancy.

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