The evidence is building, study by study, that we are all exposed to a mixture of hormone disrupting chemicals (endocrine disruptors) on a daily basis, and that these have serious health effects, including on the developing fetus during pregnancy. Researchers found that early prenatal exposure to a mixture of endocrine disrupting chemicals was associated with lower levels of cognitive functioning (lower IQ scores) at age seven, particularly among boys.
Researchers in New York City and Sweden looked at the impact of 26 endocrine disrupting chemicals during pregnancy on 718 Swedish mother-child pairs. It appeared that the higher the exposure during pregnancy, the more of an effect at age 7. Especially harmful was the BPA replacement chemical BPF - this is because it is chemically related to BPA.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) include bisphenols (BPA and its replacement chemicals, such as BPF - used in products called "BPA free"), phthalates (especially used in vinyl products), parabens, chemicals used in flame retardants and non-stick coatings, and some pesticides (e.g. the commonly used chlorpyrifos).
Especially worrisome is that while scientists typically test chemicals one at a time to determine their safety, in the real world we are all exposed to mixtures of these chemicals in our food, consumer products (including personal care products and cosmetics), and environment. Some of these chemicals can cross the placenta during pregnancy and so have an effect on the developing the fetus, including brain and neurological development. Yes, some of these chemicals are only in the body for a short time, but during critical developmental stages, the effects can be big - even at very low exposures.
Bottom line: If trying to conceive a child or during pregnancy, try to minimize exposure to plastics, pesticides, flame retardants, non-stick cookware, stain-proofing (in fabric and rugs), fragrances and scented products (including air fresheners and dryer sheets), and food stored in cans and plastic containers. Avoid triclosan, anti-odor, antibacterial, anti-germ products and clothing. Avoid parabens (in lotions, etc). Read labels. Glass and stainless steel is perfectly fine. Use unscented or fragrance free products as much as possible.
From Medical Xpress: Chemicals in consumer products during early pregnancy related to lower IQ ...continue reading "Pregnancy, Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, and Lower IQ"