Posted on August 04th, 2020
Chronic exposure to industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight, an increased risk of childhood leukemia, and a greater incidence of congenital disabilities such as spina bifida found a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Environmental toxins are seen as posing risks during pregnancy. Pregnant women who resided at military facilities may have come in contact with hazardous contaminants and, by doing so, inadvertently exposed their fetuses. According to epidemiological studies, babies born to mothers exposed to toxic chemicals while pregnant are four times more likely to have serious congenital disabilities and congenital anomalies than babies born to mothers who lived off-base.
Pregnant women who have lived at a military base together with their husbands or by themselves may have been exposed to:
The cancer-causing potential of PCE has been established through numerous epidemiological studies and conclusive evidence that have contributed to PCE's designation as a "probable human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) and "likely to be carcinogenic in humans" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
A combination of environmental and genetic factors can increase the risk of certain congenital disorders, which can be defined as structural or functional anomalies during intrauterine life. Their impact on a child's health and development can vary from mild to severe. In addition, some congenital disorders may be clinically obvious at birth, while others may only be detected later in life. For example, a neural tube defect is a congenital disability that is obvious at birth. In contrast, a heart defect, which is also present at birth, can go undiagnosed until patients are in their 20s or 30s.
According to the Center for Disease Control, congenital disabilities are the leading cause of infant death in the United States, resulting in 20% of all infant deaths, many of which are from exposure to teratogens during pregnancy. Teratogens are substances or other factors that can cause congenital abnormalitiesvia a toxic effect on an embryo or fetus.
Women exposed to various contaminants at targeted military bases need to understand better the association between their exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, the following effects were seen in births of women exposed to dangerous chemicals on military bases: