"Understanding How The Environment Affects Pregnant People’s Health"

"After years of focusing on babies and children, researchers find that exposure to environmental hazards can have long-term effects on pregnant people’s health, too."

"The effects of environmental hazards on children’s health are widely researched and documented.

Exposure to environmental pollutants can be especially damaging to fetuses as they develop in the womb, resulting in low birth weights, congenital disorders and even stillbirths.

But during pregnancy, fetuses’ bodies aren’t the only ones that develop. Pregnant people go through a development period, too, making them more vulnerable to the health effects of environmental stressors like air pollution, heavy metals, PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), endocrine-disrupting chemicals, pesticides and others.

Now, scientists are starting to study how being exposed to environmental stressors affects pregnant people’s short- and long-term health. Though the mechanisms aren’t clear yet, a handful of researchers across the world are discovering associations between exposure to pollutants during pregnancy and health conditions that can last long after giving birth, such as hypertension and diabetes."

Lily Stewart reports for Environmental Health News February 1, 2024.


Source: EHN, 02/02/2024