Every pregnant woman has multiple chemicals in her body, including some banned since the 1970s and others used in common products such as non-stick cookware, processed foods and personal care products, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.
The study marks the first time that the number of chemicals to which pregnant women are exposed has been counted. Among the chemicals found in the study group was dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an organochlorine pesticide banned in the United States in1972.
Bisphenol A (BPA) was identified in 96% of the women surveyed. Prenatal exposure to BPA has been linked to adverse health outcomes, affecting brain development and increasing susceptibility to cancer later in life, according to the researchers.
“Several of these chemicals in pregnant women were at the same concentrations that have been associated with negative effects in children from other studies. In addition, exposure to multiple chemicals that can increase the risk of the same adverse health outcome can have a greater impact than exposure to just one chemical,” said lead author Tracey Woodruff, PhD, MPH, director of the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.
Exposure to chemicals during fetal development has been shown to increase the risk of adverse health consequences, including preterm birth and birth defects, childhood illnesses, and adult disease and death according to the research team. In addition, chemicals can cross the placenta and enter the fetus, and in other studies, a number of chemicals measured in maternal urine and serum have been found in amniotic fluid, cord blood and meconium.
Reduce chemicals in your body by maintaining a healthy diet, a clean house and using organic or natural personal products.
1. Clean up
EcoStore Laundry Powder (pictured above) is made from simple mineral salts and plant based ingredients with a fresh, clean, natural lemon fragrance. It contains no skin irritating enzymes, optical brighteners, phosphates or other potentially harmful chemicals, $12, ecostoreusa.com.
2. Wild Scent
Weleda Wild Rose deodorant is an effective, non-aerosol spray that eliminates the sources of unpleasant body odor and leaves a luxurious floral aroma with pure essential oils. With no risky antiperspirants such as aluminum salts, $16, usa.weleda.com.
3. The Bee’s Knees
This botanical honeypot is 100% beeswax decorated with pressed flowers for a pleasant aroma and atmosphere without chemicals. All honeypots come with a beeswax votive candle inside. From $17.50, greenhome.com.
4. Be Kind to your Skin
Pregnancy puts extra demands on the skin, but not all products are safe for you and your baby at this time. OG Mama gentle soap is certified organic, handmade in the USA and in a BPA-free bottle, $20, bestbabyorganics.com.