Exposure to Multiple Pollutants Harms Fetal Brain Development

Holy Hormones Honey!  Our environment is getting the better of us.  Women exposed to lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are at risk for passing these toxins to fetuses through the placenta and to babies through breast milk. Detox is going to become a standard practice for everyone within the next 10 years. Fortunately there are products that can help women and men detox from exposure to these environmental toxins.  And then of course, the flu vaccine – which contains Thimerosal (mercury) has been deemed acceptable to be taken by pregnant women…. but as journalist Christina England points out – reports of miscarriage post flu vaccination have skyrocketed.

Women 16-49 at Risk of Multiple Pollutants, Which Could Harm Brain Development of Fetuses and Babies

ScienceDaily
November 28, 2012

In a new analysis of thousands of U.S. women of childbearing age, Brown University researchers found that most exceeded the median blood level for two or more of three environmental pollutants that could harm brain development of fetuses and babies: lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

In a recent study, more than half of women of childbearing age had median or higher levels of at least two of three pollutants that could harm brain development. Nearly 23 percent of American women of childbearing age met or exceeded the median blood levels for all three environmental chemical pollutants — lead, mercury, and PCBs — tracked in an analysis of data on thousands of women by Brown University researchers. All but 17.3 percent of the women aged 16 to 49 were at or above the median blood level for one or more of these chemicals, which are passed to fetuses through the placenta and to babies through breast milk.

The study, published in advance online Nov. 15 in the journal Environmental Research, identified several risk factors associated with a higher likelihood of a median-or-higher “body burden” for two or more of these chemicals.

The three pollutants are of greatest interest because they are pervasive and persistent in the environment and can harm fetal and infant brain development, albeit in different ways, said study lead author Dr. Marcella Thompson. But scientists don’t yet know much about whether co-exposure to these three chemicals is more harmful than exposure to each chemical alone. Most researchers study the health effects of exposure to an individual chemical, not two or three together.

“Our research documents the prevalence of women who are exposed to all three of these chemicals,” said Thompson, who began the analysis as a doctoral student at the University of Rhode Island College of Nursing and has continued the research as a postdoctoral research associate for Brown University’s Superfund Research Program with co-author Kim Boekelheide, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. “It points out clearly the need to look at health outcomes for multiple environmental chemical co-exposures.”

Most of the childbearing-age women — 55.8 percent — exceeded the median for two or more of the three pollutants.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.