March 20, 2012

Doctor Explains Role of OB-GYN in Reducing Toxic Chemical Effects

by Levin & Perconti

A story last week at HealthCanal.com delved into the results of a new study from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on the role that gynecologists and obstetricians can help reduce the harmful effects of toxic chemicals on women and children.

Our Illinois birth injury attorneys know that it is no secret that certain exposures can be harmful to pregnant women. Of course toxic exposures are harmful to everyone; the clarion call against second-hand smoke is one popular example of this recognition. The risk is perhaps heightened for pregnant women, because the developmental process for children can be sensitive. Certain exposures can ultimately lead to lifelong problems for the developing children. The new research effort out of UCSF emphasizes that the doctors involved in the care of the pregnant mothers can often do more to help eliminate the risks of these toxic exposures which may cause birth injuries.

The head researcher explained that the findings indicate that a multipronged approach to reducing the harm is the best plan. That approach would involve doctors evaluating each pregnant mother’s environmental exposure. In addition, the group suggests Ob-gyns need to do a better job of educating the expectant families on the exposures which actually do increase risk of harm. Finally, the organization is also calling on more wide-ranging government policy changes to keep more mothers free of environmental toxins.

To bolster the case for these proposed changes, the researchers noted that over the last three quarters of a century, there has been a large spike in use of both natural and synthetic chemicals. All of us are exposed to those chemicals to a far greater degree than at any time in the past. Most community members remain unaware of their extreme exposure. For example, the UCSF study found that virtually all pregnant women tested as part of the project had chemicals in their body that had been banned over 40 years ago. In other words, there is no easy way to completely rid the world of these dangerous products in the short term. Government oversight itself is not enough.

Of course, not even counting the products that are banned but still around, many dangerous chemicals are still in common use in everyday object like cooking spray and personal care products. The Chicago birth injury lawyers understand that this fact is made even more alarming considering that research continues to pour out which indicates that exposure to these chemicals can affect reproductive health and child development.

In the article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the study authors suggest, “Obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health providers can play a groundbreaking role by intervening in critical stages of human development to translate the new science into healthier future generations.”

The authors went on to explain that these medical professionals can assess each patient’s overall exposure and then provide counsel as to ways to limit the exposure. The guidance can help pregnant mothers better navigate the many potential exposure situations at home, work, and in the community.

To read the full study, please follow this link.

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