The challenges for pregnant scientists often come unannounced and need to be dealt with quickly; the stakes are high.
"In practice, only a limited number of chemicals have been properly tested for reproductive toxicity, so many hazards are not known about," says toxicologist and UK government adviser Paul Illing.
Most Ph.D. students manage to support themselves, however modestly, with a combination of TAs, RAs, and fellowships.
Aside from radiation, few U.S. organizations have policies regarding pregnant lab workers, which means women are on their own when it comes to worrying about exposure during pregnancy.
Vasquez wants "industry to step to the plate and find a way for high school teachers ... [to have] a real job in the summertime in a laboratory." Discussions with several industry leaders have thus far been encouraging, she told Next Wave.
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