Do You Know the Effects that Environmental Contaminates Can Have on Your Unborn Child??

May 10, 2011 at 1:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Fetal Exposure to Environmental Contaminants May Underlie Congenital Heart Disease

Maternal exposure to compounds present in crude oil, cleaning agents, and
stain removers has been linked to an increased risk for congenital heart
disease (CHD) in a study presented here at the Pediatric Academic Societies
and Asian Society for Pediatric Research 2011 Annual Meeting.

CHD “is a major cause of childhood death and life-long health problems, so
identifying risk factors contributing to CHD is important to public health.
Environmental causes of CHD have been suspected, and animal studies have
linked certain chemicals to CHD as potential teratogens, but the link has
remained unproven,” Gail McCarver, MD, professor of pediatrics at the
Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Research Institute, Milwaukee,
told Medscape Medical News.

To probe whether human exposure to a battery of volatile organic compounds
and halogens increased the risk for CHD, Dr. McCarver and her colleagues
tested meconium as a means of assessing fetal exposure to the solvents.

“Meconium monitoring is an established and valid means of assessment of
fetal exposure,” Dr. McCarver noted in an interview with Medscape Medical

Meconium from 135 newborns diagnosed with CHD and 432 newborns without
CHD, as determined by echocardiography, was examined for 17 compounds using
gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for volatile organic compounds and gas
chromatography–electron capture detector for halogens.

Both techniques were exquisitely sensitive, with detection limits in the
parts-per-trillion range.

Infants of diabetic mothers and infants identified with chromosomal
abnormalities linked to CHD were excluded from the study. Demographic data,
information concerning family history of CHD, and maternal history of the
use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and vitamins were collected. Mothers
and infants were genotyped for 2 genes implicated in CHD: ADH, which
encodes alcohol dehydrogenase, and CYP2E1, which encodes cytochrome
P450 2E1.

The infants with CHD were significantly more likely to be smaller at birth,
born at an earlier gestational age, white, have a family history of CHD, and
born to a woman who smoked tobacco (P < .05 for all).

Of the 567 infants, 82% had detectable levels of 1 or more of the examined
solvents. Infants with CHD more often displayed fetal exposure to
ethylbenzene (P < .001), meta/ortho/para-xylene (P < .001), benzene
(P < .01), tetrachloroethylene (P < .05), and dichloroethylene (P <

When the data were examined on the basis of race, fetal exposure to ethyl
benzene (a component of crude oil) and the inhaled vapors of vehicle
emissions, gasoline, and cigarette smoke increased the risk for CHD 4-fold
in white infants, but not in black infants. Exposure to trichloroethylene (a
common degreasing chemical that is a component of a variety of cleaners and
spot removers) increased CHD risk 2-fold in white infants and 8-fold in
black infants.

Maternal obesity; tobacco smoking; the use of alcohol, illicit drugs, or
vitamins; exposure to other solvents; and presence/absence of ADH and
CYP2E1 were not significant CHD risk factors.

The association between ethylbenzene and CHD — described by Dr. McCarver as
“novel and important for public health” — might explain previous reports
linking smoking during pregnancy and CHD, and might heighten public health
concerns about events such as the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“This is the first report that exposure to ethyl benzene, a compound present
in crude oil, is associated with CHD. This association is troubling,
particularly concerning recent oil spills,” Dr. McCarver told Medscape
Medical News.

The data also implicate tetrachloroethylene as a teratogen and strengthen
the validity of the noninvasive examination of meconium as a means of
analyzing fetal exposure to environmental compounds.

“This is valuable work. But it could, perhaps, be a whole bunch more
insightful if we had more of a history of maternal exposure and its relation
to pregnancy. This would allow a more accurate assessment of exposure as a
causal factor,” Robert Geller, MD, from Emory University School of Medicine,
Atlanta, Georgia, told Medscape Medical News.
Dr Flores’ comments:

There is more and more evidence of the deleterious effects of environmental toxins on human health. Although this study is with infants, there must be similar effects seen in other apparently healthy individuals that don’t show any immediate symptoms. The affect of all of these man made toxins is without a doubt an issue that we will be hearing more often as the cause of many diseases.
Detoxifying on regular basis is a great way to combat these environmental toxins and their effects on human health. The only way to protect ourselves and our family from the deleterious effects of all of these non fat soluble toxins and even from electrosmog is to avoid exposure as much as possible, and to focus much more on detoxification.  One of the primary treatments that we offer at Flores Health Services is Lymphatic Drainage – when paired with customized homeopathic detoxification remedies this is a way to boost your bodies ability to rid itself of toxic build up that we are faced with on a daily basis.

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