Babies in the womb are being exposed to a shocking cocktail of chemicals that can cause cancer in later life and have gender-bending qualities, research has revealed.
Tests on blood taken from the umbilical cords of nearly 30 new born babies and from more than 40 new mothers were analysed for chemicals ranging from artificial musks used in cosmetics and cleaning products to flame retardants and chemicals used to make plastics and coatings.
Most of the chemicals are found in everyday products such as cleaning fluids and sprays, tin can linings, perfumes and cosmetics and even baby bottles. Others include banned pesticides such as DDT that have lingered in the environment for decades.
Every single sample of mother or baby blood tested positive for an array of chemicals, many of which are suspected of being linked to health problems ranging from birth defects and genital abnormalities to certain types of cancer.
The report, A Present for Life: hazardous chemicals in cord blood, from WWF-UK and Greenpeace, says babies are being exposed to these chemicals at the most vulnerable point in their development.
It also calls for urgent action to be taken to control the production and sale of those chemicals that may damage the health of babies and adults alike.
All umbilical cords contained a minimum of five of the 35 chemicals tested for, some contained as many as 14. Two of the mothers tested had 17 of the 35 chemicals in their blood.
The report also highlights the possible effects of chemicals on children’s brain development and intelligence.
It says proposed new EU legislation on chemicals called “REACH” gives Europe a crucial opportunity to take the necessary action to protect humans and the environment from the effects of harmful chemicals and to make producers responsible for the impacts of their products.
Helen Perivier, toxics campaigner for Greenpeace International said: “Babies feeding through the umbilical cord are exposed to toxic chemicals from products like vinyl plastics, cleaning products, electronics and perfumes.
“It is shocking that such chemicals are in the human body at any stage of our life, let alone at the very start, when the child is most vulnerable. Governments need to act and require industries to substitute these contaminating chemicals with safer alternatives”
Babies being poisoned in the womb | Mail Online
Last updated at 11:02 08 September 2005