How is the developing fetus vulnerable to toxic chemical exposures, and how can our regulatory system more effectively protect our health in the prenatal period?
Molly Rauch, MPH
February 2, 2012
are exposed to industrial chemicals in the environment throughout our lives.
But because growth is rapid and basic organ systems are under
development during the prenatal and early childhood period, exposures during
those times may have greater impact on our health than exposures when we are
adults. Prenatal exposures to some toxins can harm the fetus at levels that
have no obvious effect on the mother. Moreover, some parental exposures even in
the preconception period may harm the future child.
prevention of avoidable harm is a crucial role of healthcare providers, public
health practitioners, and health advocates. To be effective, such prevention
must encompass the entire life span, and focus special attention on the periods
of greatest vulnerability. Foremost among those is the prenatal period. This
month we explore the vulnerability of the developing fetus, as well as the
limits of the current regulatory system to address this vulnerability.
How can our regulatory system more effectively protect the health of the developing fetus?
Laura Anderko, PhD RN
Protecting the Fetus from Harmful Pollutants: Lead, pesticides, mercury, and endocrine disruptors
Susan Buchanan, MD MPH
Male-Mediated Teratogens and Endocrine Disruptors: Pesticides, solvents, and cell phone radiation
Devra Davis, PhD, MPH
Stronger Chemical Regulations Are Needed to Prevent Prenatal Exposures
Katie Huffling, RN MS CNM
Why and how is the developing fetus vulnerable to toxic chemical exposures?
Susan F. Katz, MD
Prenatal Exposures: A continuum of vulnerability to environmental toxicants
Jerome A. Paulson, MD FAAP
Food Matters: In Hospitals and For Prenatal Health
Jessica Trowbridge, MPH
The views expressed in these essays are those of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Physicians for Social Responsibility.