US Wombs Polluted, Study Reveals by Maggie Fox Washington
Unborn babies in the United States are soaking in a stew of chemicals including mercury, petrol by-products and pesticides, according to a new report.
Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation to further control chemicals in the environment.
The report by the Environmental Working Group is based on 10 samples of umbilical cord blood taken by the American Red Cross. Researched found an average of 287 containments in the blood including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA.
“These 10 newborn, babies were born polluted, said New York Democrat Louise Slaughter.
“If ever we had proof that our nation’s pollution laws aren’t working, it’s reading the list of industrial chemicals in the bodies of babies who have not yet lived outside the womb.”
Cord blood reflects what the mother passes to the baby through the placenta.
The report said that of the 287 chemicals detect, “we know what 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous systems and 208 cause birth defect or abnormal development in animal tests.”
Blood tests did not show how the chemicals got into the mothers’ bodies.
Among the chemicals found were methylmecury, produced by coal-fired power plants and certain industrial processes.
People can breaths it in or eat it in seafood. It cause brain and nerve damage.
Also found were ployaromatic hydrocarbons produced by burning petrol and garbage which may cause cancer; flame-retardant chemicals and pesticides including DDT and chlordane.
The same group analysed the breast mild of mothers across the US in 2003, and found varying levels of chemicals, including flame retardants.
THE AGE, Friday July 15, 2005.