Environmental toxicants transfer from mother to baby

Environmental Factor: February 2011


Environmental toxicants transfer from mother to baby

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“Among their results, the researchers report that the concentration of organohalogen compounds used in solvents, refrigerants, and pesticides in a mother's blood is highly correlated to levels in her developing baby.

The team also examined correlations for the trace elements mercury, cadmium, lead, and selenium, as well several common congeners, or forms, of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), PCBs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and other compounds.”



“His results confirm that children appear most at risk in the womb, where mercury seems to deform the brain’s fragile architecture and upset the maturation and migration of brain cells.

But Grandjean also found that mercury could threaten children’s nervous systems well into adolescence.

"What we are finding out is that mercury is very parallel to lead," Grandjean says. "Such pollutants are particularly worrisome because, once they’ve done the damage to the developing brain, the child will have to live with that for the rest of his life.”