A US study, conducted over 12 years on a diverse group of pregnant women, has found rising exposure to chemicals from plastics and pesticides.
The study was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
The scientists behind the study discovered dozens of chemicals used to make plastics and those found in insecticides in 171 pregnant women studied.
Researchers measured 103 chemicals, mostly from pesticides, plastics and replacement chemicals for BPA and phthalates, using a method that captured dozes of chemicals or chemical traces from a single urine sample, said an ANI report.
Scientists looked for 89 different chemicals in participants and found 73 of them in at least one person. In addition, 36 of these substances were found in over half of the participants.
The study looked at “contemporary and emerging chemicals”, many of which scientists know very little about when it comes to potential health.
“This is the first time we have been able to measure the amounts of chemicals in such a large and diverse group of pregnant women – not just identify chemicals,” said Tracey J. Woodruff, professor and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment and co-director of the UCSF EaRTH Center and the senior author of the study.
More than 80 per cent of the chemicals were found in at least one of the women studies, and more than a third of the chemicals were found in a majority of the participants. The study also found that some of these chemicals were present in higher amounts than seen in earlier studies.
Prenatal exposure to industrial chemicals can come from air, food, water, plastics and other industrial and consumer products. While these chemicals could be harmful to pregnancy and child development, few of these chemicals are regularly monitored in people.