Green Buckeye RN

EHN: Banned, Contemporary Chemicals Widespread in US Pregnant Women
January 19, 2011, 10:58 am
Filed under: News

Jan 14, 2011

Woodruff TJ, AR Zota, and JM Schwartz. Environmental chemicals in pregnant women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004. Environmental Health Perspectives
Synopsis by Ami Zota, Sc.D

U.S. pregnant women are exposed to multiple and varied chemicals – some long banned, others currently used – that may harm the fetus during sensitive periods of development.

A new study finds for the first time that the bodies of virtually all U.S. pregnant women – and possibly their unborn children – carry multiple chemicals, including some banned since the 1970s and others used in common products such as non-stick cookware, processed foods and personal care products.

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published previous reports on chemical levels in the general population, this is the first study to look at a broad range of chemicals specifically in pregnant women.

Researchers analyzed the data for 163 chemicals and detected about three-quarters of them at varying levels in some or all of the women. They found almost all – 99 to 100 percent – of the pregnant women carried polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), phenols, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perchlorate.

Other chemicals detected in the study group were PBDEs – compounds used as flame retardants and now banned in many states, including California – and DDT – an organochlorine pesticide banned in the United States in 1972. DDT was found at lower levels

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