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Ground-breaking study finds harmful chemicals in pregnant women’s bodies

On November 17, the Washington Toxics Coalition released a groundbreaking study on toxics in pregnant women’s bodies. The project tested nine pregnant women from Washington, Oregon and California for levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies, and thus being exposed to their fetuses. This study was completed in collaboration with Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center and the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition.

Every woman tested was found to have levels of bisphenol A, mercury, phthalates, and perfluorinated — or “Teflon” — chemicals in their blood. The chemical levels are alarming because the chemicals tested are known to impair brain development, disrupt hormone levels, cause reproductive issues, and lead to cancer.

Several participants expressed disappointment and frustration because they thought that they were protecting their unborn children from toxic chemicals as much as possible. Participant Connie Galambos Malloy said, “This study shows that my body has been invaded by toxins from all angles despite my efforts to the contrary.”

Molly Gray, one of the study participants, did everything she could think of to protect her child during pregnancy. She told the study authors:

“I do my best to live organic and chemical free. Apparently, local/organic food only, toxin-free cleaners, off-gassed mattress, low/no VOC paint, and filtered water isn’t enough. The answer I received from this study is that the fight is too big for just one person!”

People all over the nation are beginning to understand that the fight is too big for just one person – we need to take collective action. This study adds to the mounting evidence that Congress needs to act soon to update the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In the meantime, you can protect yourself by staying informed, shopping smart and speaking out for serious change.

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Healthy tips sheets from Washington Toxics Coalition:

Fact sheets on chemicals:

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