A new podcast by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences identifies common environmental contaminants of concern and discusses how doctors and pregnant women can work together to reduce prenatal exposures and promote healthy prenatal development.
Research shows that the developing brain is particularly vulnerable to the effects of prenatal exposure to toxic environmental pollutants. While many physicians talk to pregnant women about smoking, alcohol and nutrition, a recent study shows doctors are less comfortable discussing the environmental contaminants that women may be exposed to at home or at work.
The podcast features Tracey Woodruff, director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on advancing research, professional training, public education and health policies that reduce the harmful effects of environmental contaminants on reproductive and developmental health. She has investigated the exposure of pregnant women to bisphenol-A, phthalates, mercury and many other environmental contaminants. Her multidisciplinary approach integrates exposure research with efforts to translate scientific findings into evidence-based guidelines for healthcare providers, policy makers and community groups.