What to Do About Chemicals in Pregnant Women: All products are eco-products

Yesterday we looked considered the importance of the recent journal article in the Environmental Health Perspective, Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women. Today I’d like to explore the second lesson learned from this article – all products are eco-products.

What to Do About Chemicals in Pregnant Women: All products are eco-products

Lesson 2: All products are eco-products.

A major 2011 analysis of typical pregnant women across the US found widespread evidence of toxic chemicals in their blood, often at levels that have been linked to higher risk of developmental and reproductive problems in babies in other studies. Beyond this, the pregnant women in this study were typically exposed to mixtures of various toxic chemicals at one time, with effects we have yet to understand.

This study reminds me of the study I helped design and launch with the Environmental Working Group in 2005, where we found an average of 200 industrial chemicals already in babies at the moment of birth. Environmental chemicals weren’t just polluting air, soil, and water “out there” somewhere; they were polluting the innermost sanctum of the womb.

The distinction between a product’s impact on the “environment” and on us is, in the long run, irrelevant. We are part of the environment.

All products and their manufacture have environmental consequences. We make eco-choices every time we buy. The question is whether we are selecting better environmental impact or worse environmental impact. Our choices add up. And matter.

Read More in this Series:
Lesson 1: It’s a peak behind the curtain.
Lesson 2: All products are eco-products.
Lesson 3: Public policy changes your body.
Lesson 4: Your choices do matter
Lesson 5: A green solution. Leafy green.

Woodruff, TJ, Zota, AR, and Schwartz JM. Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004 Environmental Health Perspectives 2011. Online 14 Jan doi:10.1289/ehp.1002727

Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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