Leading up to and during pregnancy, women are told to avoid alcohol and cigarettes, to make sure they get enough folate and omega-3 fatty acids, and to get adequate sleep and exercise. Most are told little or nothing about reducing their exposure to chemicals despite evidence suggesting that ingredients in plastics, vehicle exhaust and cosmetics additives can have profound impacts on babies’ health.
Environment and Public Health Reporter, The Huffington Post
During her five-and-a-half-year battle with infertility, Julieta Pisani McCarthy bought organic foods and chose personal care products free of synthetic ingredients such as parabens and phthalates. And when she finally did become pregnant with her first son, Nicolas, she continued her diligence, including ridding her home of any furniture foam that might contain chemical flameretardants.
Dramatic increases in exposure to toxic chemicals in the last four decades are threatening human reproduction and health, according to the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the first global reproductive health organization to take a stand on human exposure to toxic chemicals. The opinion was written by obstetrician-gynecologists and scientists from the major global, US, UK and Canadian reproductive health professional societies, the World Health Organization and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health care professionals. Patient exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and other stressors is ubiquitous, and preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course....The evidence that links exposure to toxic environmental agents and adverse reproductive and developmental health outcomes is sufficiently robust, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine join leading scientists and other clinical practitioners in calling for timely action to identify and reduce exposure to toxic environmental agents while addressing the consequences of such exposure.
My journey to SafetyNEST Science started many years ago. The first “seed” planted on my path was when I was in graduate school, working on a final paper focused on understanding the incentives and deterrents to “greening the chemical industry” for a class at Harvard Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. I stumbled upon the alarming statistic that more than 85,000 chemicals surround us daily, in everything from our mattresses to frying pans and shampoo bottles. Hundreds of new chemicals are introduced into consumer products every year. And here’s the catch: The EPA has only tested +/- 200 for health and safety. Seriously?!