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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An Official Statement on Environmental Toxins and Pregnancy

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For years, the debate over restricting the stew of industrial chemicals that we live in has suffered from a case of he said, she said.

Environmental groups sounded the alarm about the thousands of chemicals in our air, water, food, housewares, and shampoo that science suggests — but doesn’t outright prove — could make us sick. They warned about such commonly used substances as BPA (in cans and plastics), fire retardants (in furniture), and phthalates (in cosmetics). Chemical industry representatives countered that there is no clear evidence that their products are unsafe, and tighter regulation would squash innovation.

But now it’s about pregnant moms and unborn babies.

For the first time ever, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) this week came out with a strong statement about the risks of environmental toxins to pregnant women and fetuses. Also for the first time, the group is going so far as to urge individual doctors to advocate for policy changes to protect women and babies from exposure.

“The scientific evidence over the last 15 years shows that exposure to toxic environmental agents before conception and during pregnancy can have significant and long-lasting effects on reproductive health,” wrote ACOG. Another group of reproduction specialists, the American Society...
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