Safety Services


Working with radiation while pregnant or breastfeeding

Guidance for pregnant employees or breastfeeding mothers who may be exposed to ionising radiation during their work at UCL.

Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers

Whilst there is potential for unborn baby to be exposed during work with ionising radioactive materials, it is likely that radiation protection measures already in place will be sufficient to protect you and your baby.

If you are a radiation worker who is pregnant or breastfeeding, it is strongly recommended that you inform your manager so that further controls can be considered. You are not required to declare your pregnancy but only the radiation limits for adult radiation workers will be in effect, not those for an unborn baby. ​

> UCL Maternity Leave Policy

Control measures

Once you have declared your pregnancy, the Radiation Protection Supervisor, in liaison with the Radiation Protection Team, will carry out a risk assessment which will include a review of duties and whether any additional controls will be necessary to minimise the dose to the unborn baby. This should be done as part of the general risk assessment for all Pregnancy - new and expectant mothers​.

Examples of control measures could include the following:

  • Stopping work with some radionuclides
  • Stopping work on some high-risk procedures
  • Reducing the amount of radiation that the employee can work with
  • Reducing the time that the employee is exposed to radiation
  • Increasing the amount of shielding being used

Personal dosimetry

Where personal dosimeters have been issued to an employee, records of the doses are received by Safety Services and are available to the employee on request. 

Last updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022