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Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

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Pesticides and Pregnancy

Posted: 04/10/2012 5:50 pm

There was a time when doctors told pregnant mothers it was okay to smoke and drink alcohol because their babies were protected. Obviously, now we know otherwise -- but many women are still misinformed about the dangers of the common contaminants that their fetuses are exposed to. Last week, a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that "an expectant mother's exposure to commonly used pesticides might pose risks to her developing fetus comparable to those long associated with tobacco smoking [such as lower birth weight and earlier labor]," according to The Huffington Post. The study subjects were not agricultural workers: "These are women exposed primarily through diet and perhaps pesticides used in and around the yard," said Dr. Bruce Lanphear, a study researcher. Should doctors recommend women avoid pesticides during pregnancy as they do cigarettes and alcohol? We think so.

Pre-Tween Puberty

Is puberty before age 10 the "new normal"? A New York Times Magazine profile of a 9-year-old girl who began growing pubic hair at age 6 that referenced endocrine disruptors as a possible cause generated a flurry of related articles, including one at the Center for Health, Environment & Justice that also references Sandra Steingraber's groundbreaking research on the role of toxic chemicals found in everyday products that interfere with hormone systems.

Chicken-Fed Pharmaceuticals

A new study from Johns Hopkins University found that "poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and even arsenic" according to the New York Times. Yet another reason to choose organic.

Stand Up for Safer Chemicals

Want more regulation of chemicals in your environment? Let your Senator know you support the Safe Chemicals Act by signing the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families petition. The petition signatures will be delivered to Congress in May -- stand up for safer chemicals today!

Celebs Party for Healthy Child!

And, finally, a shameless plug: "Celebrity mothers Kelly Preston, Elisabeth Rohm and Jenna Elfman have joined forces with a children's charity to host kids' parties aimed at raising awareness about the toxic chemicals used in household products. The actresses, along with Muhammad Ali's boxer daughter Laila Ali and former All My Children star Susan Lucci and her daughter Liza Huber, are among more than 150 volunteers who have signed up to throw individual events for the Healthy Child Healthy World organization as part of its Healthy Child Party Week, which begins on 5 May," according to World News. Today, we're almost at 3,000 participants. Could you be the host that helps us reach our goal?