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100 percent of pregnant women have at least one kind of pesticide in their placenta

Human beings are directly responsible for more than 110,000 chemical substances which have been generated since the Industrial Revolution. Every year, we "invent" more than 2,000 new substances, most of them contaminants, which are emitted into the environment and which are consequently present in food, air, soil and water. Nonetheless, human beings are also victims of these emissions, and involuntarily (what is known in this scientific field as "inadvertent exposure"), every day humans ingest many of these substances which cannot be assimilated by our body, and are accumulated in the fatty parts of our tissues.

This is especially worrying for pregnant women. During the gestation period, all the contaminants accumulated in the organism have direct access to the microenvironment where the embryo/foetus develops. The doctoral thesis Exposición materno-infantil vía placentaria a compuestos químicos medioambientales con actividad hormonal (Maternal-child exposure via the placenta to environmental chemical substances with hormonal activity), written by María José López Espinosa, from the Department of Radiology and Physical Medicine of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada [http://www.ugr.es]), analyzes the presence of organochlorine pesticides –normally used as pesticides- in the organisms of pregnant women. The analysis was developed at San Cecilio University Hospital, in Granada, with 308 women who had given birth to healthy children between 2000 and 2002. The results are alarming: 100% of these pregnant women had at least one pesticide in their placenta, but the average rate amounts to eight different kinds of chemical substances.

Fifteen different pesticides in the organisms of pregnant women

In her study, through the analysis of the placentas, López studied the presence of 17 endocrine disruptive organochlorine pesticides (i.e., pesticides which interfere with the proper performanc
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Source:Universidad de Granada


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