Chemicals and Pregnancy: A Dangerous Combination

Many preterm births and miscarriages are attributable to toxic chemical exposure. There are toxic chemicals in the air that pregnant women breathe each day. Depending on where a woman lives or works, her baby can be affected by these toxins. The results of these exposures are alarming levels of preterm births and miscarriages.

Chemicals and Pregnancy

Additionally, many diseases and ailments affecting children, such as asthma, are attributable to the exposure to environmental toxins their mothers faced. There is also cause for concern regarding household goods that pregnant women consume without the knowledge that they may be putting themselves or their unborn babies at risk.

Published Studies
During a study conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles, doctors investigated the risk of preterm birth due to exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollutants to pregnant women living in Los Angeles. The doctors and their team found that with increased exposure to toxins emitted by engine emissions, the odds of preterm birth also increased from 6 to 21 percent. For women who had high levels of exposure to the air pollutants, the odds of preterm birth increased by 30 percent. This result tied the pollutants directly to the preterm birth increase in the study.

Pregnant women, despite making conscious efforts to care for their unborn babies, are unknowingly exposed to many environmental toxins that can harm them. They are even at risk in their own homes. For instance, USA Today reported that a study published by the Environmental Health Perspectives found pesticides, chemicals in flame retardant materials, chemicals in non-stick cookware, and chemicals found in plastics in the placentas of pregnant women. Other studies have found some of these toxins in umbilical cords.

Toxins, such as lead, have even been found in lipstick that pregnant women may wear every day. In a study of cosmetics, lead was found in amounts six times the maximum amount allowed in children’s toys. The FDA does not review or approve ingredients in cosmetic products before they are sold to the public. Lead has long been known to be a serious neurotoxin. The cosmetic industry says that since lipstick is not ingested, there should be no cause for concern.

Congress or the Courts?

The current regulations for toxic levels emitted into our environment have not been updated since 1976. If Congress does not act on this matter, it may be up to the courts to change the laws governing companies that use these toxins in household items and in the food that families consume on a daily basis.

There have been many lawsuits regarding exposure to toxins that have caused miscarriages, and the number of these cases is growing. In a lawsuit filed in Austin, Texas, a former employee sued the manufacturing company she worked for because the company exposed her and her unborn baby to toxic chemicals that allegedly caused her child to be born with birth defects. The former employee gave birth to a child with cognitive impairments, brain impairment and a missing limb. The woman says that the chemicals used to maintain a clean room for the manufacturing company caused her to seek medical attention twice, yet the company continued to expose her and her unborn baby to the chemicals.

IBM settled a similar lawsuit. After the settlement, several other women filed lawsuits against IBM for birth defects their children allegedly suffered because of exposure to toxic chemicals during their employment. The additional cases were also settled by IBM.

Contact Us for Help

It is important that women who have had miscarriages or babies with birth defects because of exposure to toxic chemicals seek legal assistance from our experienced attorneys by contacting the experienced attorneys of our firm. They can hold companies accountable for exposing them and their unborn children to these chemicals. The courtroom is the only current remedy for those who have had such a tragedy recklessly heaped upon them by companies who cause women and their children to suffer permanent physical damage.

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