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Ob-gyns can prevent negative health impacts of environmental chemicals
Date:3/14/2012

Ob-gyns are uniquely positioned to play a major role in reducing the effects of toxic chemicals on women and babies, according to an analysis led by University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers.

Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD

The team recommends a multipronged approach that includes evaluating patients' environmental exposures to chemicals and providing education, in addition to broader strategies to influence government policy.

Over the past 70 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of natural and synthetic chemicals to which every person is exposed. A recent UCSF study showed that the bodies of virtually all U.S. pregnant women carry multiple chemicals, including some banned since the 1970s and others used in common products such as non-stick cookware, processed foods and personal care products.

At the same time, rapidly accumulating evidence shows that exposure to environmental chemicals at levels common in daily life can adversely impact reproductive and developmental health.

"Exposures to environmental chemicals before and during pregnancy are of particular concern, since we now know that encountering certain chemicals during these developmental periods is linked to a number of health problems," said senior author Linda C. Giudice, MD, PhD, professor and chair of the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

"Obstetricians, gynecologists and other reproductive health providers can play a groundbreaking role by intervening in critical stages of human development to translate the new science into healthier future generations," she said.

The study is available online in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Patient History Should Include Expsosure to Toxic Chemicals

Taking an exposure history is a key first step, according to the study's lead author Patrice Sutton, MPH, a research scientist with
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Contact: Karin Rush-Monroe
karin.rush-monroe@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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