Unborn babies soaked in chemicals, study finds
Nice article from Reuters.
Can you imagine what happen in Jakarta where there's extremely hight pollution?
Average of 287 contaminants found in cord blood of U.S. infants
Updated: 4:49 p.m. ET July 14, 2005
WASHINGTON - Unborn U.S. babies are soaking in a stew of chemicals, including mercury, gasoline byproducts and pesticides, according to a report released Thursday.
Although the effects on the babies are not clear, the survey prompted several members of Congress to press for legislation that would strengthen controls on chemicals in the environment.
The report by the Environmental Working Group is based on tests of 10 samples of umbilical-cord blood taken by the American Red Cross. They found an average of 287 contaminants in the blood, including mercury, fire retardants, pesticides and the Teflon chemical PFOA.
“These 10 newborn babies ... were born polluted,” said New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, who spoke a news conference about the findings Thursday.
“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,” Slaughter, a Democrat, said.
Cord blood reflects what the mother passes to the baby through the placenta.
“Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical-cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests,” the report said.
Blood tests did not show how the chemicals got into the mothers’ bodies, or what their effects might be on the babies.
Mercury and pesticides
Among the chemicals found in the cord blood were methylmercury, produced by coal-fired power plants and certain industrial processes. People can breathe it in or eat it in seafood and it causes brain and nerve damage.