Research into toxicity present at birth

Several studies have examined umbilical cord blood to determine the number and type of industrial pollutants present in newborns at the time of birth. This research supports that children are being born already exposed to a large number of chemicals including those known to be neurotoxic, carcinogenic, or potentially linked to birth defects, developmental abnormalities, and reproductive problems. The sample sizes in these studies are small due to the costs involved but the findings are important nonetheless.

  • US, 2005 – Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns
    • 10 random US newborns
    • detected 287 chemicals across the blood samples
    • of these: 180 have carcinogenic properties, 217 have neurotoxic properties, and 208 “cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests”
    • this was the first detection of 209 of the chemicals in newborns
  • US, 2009 – Pollution in Minority Newborns (PDF)
    • 10 random US minority newborns
    • detected 232 chemicals across the blood samples
    • all 10 samples contained: lead, mercury, PFCs, PBDEs, PCNs, PCBs, and Chlorinated dioxin
    • 9 of 10 samples contained: Bisphenol A (BPA) and Perchlorate
    • this was the first study detect BPA exposure in newborns
  • CA, 2013 – Pre-Polluted: A report on toxic substances in the umbilical cord blood of Canadian newborns (PDF)
    • 3 Candaian newborns
    • detected 137 chemicals across the blood samples
    • of these: 132 have carcinogenic properties, 100 have neurotoxic properties, and 133 “cause developmental and reproductive problems in mammals”
    • found 96 different PCBs despite the Canadian ban on the importation, manufacture, and sale of all PCBs since 1977

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