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(Date of issue: August 2017, Version: 2.1)

This is a UKTIS monograph for use by health care professionals. For case-specific advice please contact UKTIS on 0344 892 0909. To report an exposure please download and complete a pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.


Carbon disulphide (CS2) is a chemical widely used in the textile industry. Exposure may therefore occur occupationally and/or environmentally. 

Published data regarding fetal outcome following exposure to carbon disulphide during pregnancy are extremely limited and assume exposure on the basis of maternal occupation. Single studies of occupational exposure have described increased risks for congenital malformation and spontaneous abortion, however these findings have not been supported by other studies. No evidence of increased risks for stillbirth, preterm delivery, or low birth weight has been presented in the small number of studies which assessed these outcomes. No studies investigating neonatal complications, neurodevelopmental impairment or childhood cancer following in utero exposure to CS2 were identified.

Congenital malformations and embryo toxicity have been reported in animal studies following gestational exposure to inhaled concentrations >6 times the recommended human occupational exposure limits.

As with all chemicals, unnecessary exposure to carbon disulphide should be avoided. However, where occupational exposure is unavoidable, any recommended PPE should be used and precautions should be taken to ensure that exposure is well within the recommended exposure limits and not associated with toxic symptoms.

Due to the lack of data, where exposure to carbon disulphide has occurred, even in cases which did not result in maternal toxicity, enhanced fetal monitoring may be warranted and should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Where maternal treatment is required, treatment should be the same as for the non-pregnant patient. Other risk factors may also be present in individual cases which may independently increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcome. Clinicians are reminded of the importance of consideration of such factors when performing case-specific risk assessments.

This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use full UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org to be sure you are using the most up-to-date version. The summaries of these monographs are openly available on UKTIS.org.

This is a summary of the full UKTIS monograph for health care professionals and should not be used in isolation. The full UKTIS monograph and access to any hyperlinked related documents is available to health care professionals at www.toxbase.org.

If you have a patient with exposure to a drug or chemical and require assistance in making a patient-specific risk assessment, please telephone UKTIS on 0344 892 0909 to discuss the case with a teratology specialist.

If you would like to report a pregnancy to UKTIS please click here to download our pregnancy reporting form. Please encourage all women to complete an online reporting form.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that this monograph was accurate and up-to-date at the time of writing, however it cannot cover every eventuality and the information providers cannot be held responsible for any adverse outcomes of the measures recommended. The final decision regarding which treatment is used for an individual patient remains the clinical responsibility of the prescriber. This material may be freely reproduced for education and not for profit purposes within the UK National Health Service, however no linking to this website or reproduction by or for commercial organisations is permitted without the express written permission of this service. This document is regularly reviewed and updated. Only use UKTIS monographs downloaded directly from TOXBASE.org or UKTIS.org to ensure you are using the most up-to-date version.