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Pregnant women exposed to more chemicals that could harm babies

Alarmingly, some of the toxic chemicals were found in higher quantities than in earlier studies.

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Beautiful young pregnant woman feeling head ache and laying on the bad in the room with modern furniture. Stressed pregnant woman or mother problems.
The study came from the US National Institutes of Health Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes program (ECHO)(MorphoBio/Shutterstock)

By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

Pregnant women are being exposed to more and more toxic chemicals that could harm their babies, according to a new study.

Researchers found moms-to-be were being exposed to increasing levels of toxins from plastics and pesticides over a 12-year period.

Many of the chemicals women were exposed to were replacement chemicals- new substances that replaced chemicals that have been banned or phased out.

The toxins were often just as harmful as the noxious chemicals they had replaced.

Many women had also been exposed to neonicotinoids, a pesticide that is also toxic for bees.

More than 80 percent of the chemicals were found in at least one woman in the study, while more than a third of them were found in a majority of participants.

Alarmingly, some of these chemicals were found in higher quantities than in earlier studies.

Exposure to industrial toxins in pregnancy can come from air, food, water, plastics, and other industrial and consumer products.

Pesticide spraying equipment in a green rural crop field
Toxic pesticides leak into our water, food and air supplies. (Juice Flair/Shutterstock)

Few of these toxins are routinely monitored in people although they could be harmful to pregnancy and child development.

For the study, academics looked at 171 women from the US states of California, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, and Puerto Rico.

They were all part of the US National Institutes of Health Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes program (ECHO).

About one-third (34 percent) of them were white, 40 percent were Latina, 20 percent were black, and the remaining six percent were from other or multiple groups.

Non-white women, women with lower educational attainment, single mothers-to-be and smokers had been exposed to higher levels of chemicals.

Latinas had especially high levels of parabens, which are used as preservatives, as well as phthalates and bisphenols, which are used in plastics.

Study senior author Dr. Tracey Woodruff Ph.D., MPH said: “This is the first time we have been able to measure the amounts of chemicals in such a large and diverse group of pregnant women – not just identify chemicals.

“Our findings make clear that the number and scope of chemicals in pregnant women are increasing during a very vulnerable time of development for both the pregnant person and the fetus.”

Study first author Dr. Jessie Buckley, of Johns Hopkins, added: “While pesticides and replacement chemicals were prevalent in all women, we were surprised to find that Latinas had substantially higher levels of parabens, phthalates and bisphenols.

“This could be the result of higher exposures to products with chemicals, such as processed foods or personal care products.”

The findings were published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Increasing publicity has been given to non-toxic products for pregnant women since actress Jessica Alba started The Honest Company in 2012.

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