National Study Finds Harmful Levels of Chemicals and Pesticides in Pregnant Women

A new study of a diverse group of pregnant women in the United States finds an alarming level of exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides. Many of the chemicals that the women had been exposed to were replacement chemicals: new forms of chemicals that have been banned or phased out that may be just as harmful as the ones they replaced.

Researchers measured 103 chemicals, mostly from pesticides, plastics, and replacement chemicals using a new method that captured dozens of chemicals or chemical traces from a single urine sample. More than 80 percent of the chemicals were found in at least one of the women in the study, and more than a third of the chemicals were found in a majority of the participants. Prenatal exposure to industrial chemicals can come from air, food, water, plastics, and other industrial and consumer products.

“This is the first time we’ve been able to measure the amounts of chemicals in such a large and diverse group of pregnant women,” said Tracey J. Woodruff, professor and director of the University of California, San Francisco Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment and the senior author of the study. “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.”

The full study, “Exposure to Contemporary and Emerging Chemicals in Commerce Among Pregnant Women in the United States: The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcome (ECHO) Program,” was published on the website of the journal Environmental Science & Technology, a publication of the American Chemical Society. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply