Chemicals Can Reach the Baby in the Womb

Brand new research announced in the September 7, 2005 BBC-News demonstrates chemical substances present in perfumes and cleaning solutions can cross the placenta and get to the baby in the womb. In this study, tests were performed on blood samples from the umbilical cords of 27 newborn babies and 42 mothers. The samples were evaluated for eight categories of chemicals, including those present in cleaning products and non-stick and waterproof coatings.

Final results demonstrated that all of the samples tested positive for several of the 35 chemicals tested. Some of the umbilical cord blood samples in the study contained up to 14 of the chemicals, and two of the mothers tested positive for as many as 17 of the chemicals.

This study didn't evaluate the effects of these chemicals on the health of newborns compelling some health officials in the UK to declare that women that are pregnant shouldn't be concerned by the results since they explained there is no clear evidence that the chemicals were causing damage to unborn children.

These findings, however, do worry many. Helen Perivier, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace International said: "It is alarming that such chemicals are in the body at any phase of our life, much less at the beginning, whenever the child is most vulnerable." Andrew Lee of WWF-UK said: "These types of chemicals shouldn't be in products, much less in developing babies." Mr Lee noted that it is vital for the health of future generations that the European Union propose legislation and call for a wider ban on potentially toxic chemicals. The BBC article reported that the European Union is currently in the process of revising its chemicals policy.

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