Pregnancy Over 40, Watch Out for Fetal Hormone ExposureThe following article goes along with a my previous post on how environmental exposure to estrogens or estrogen-like chemicals can hurt your baby.
Even the estrogen in birth control pills can be harmful (some women get pregnant even when on the pill). Read more:
Pregnant women could be unwittingly exposing their unborn children to harmful amounts of the hormone oestrogen. Researchers have demonstrated that tiny quantities of this hormone, found in birth-control pills and some plastics, can cause serious deformities in male mouse fetuses.
"There should be a much higher level of concern," says Frederick vom Saal, a biologist at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who headed the study.
Oestrogenic drugs have long been known to cause problems. Since the 1990s, the work of vom Saal and others has revealed links between these drugs and sperm production, sex reversal in amphibians, early onset of puberty and a variety of behavioural changes.
“There should be a much higher level of concern. ”
Frederick vom Saal
University of Missouri, Columbia
Vom Saal wanted to study the impact of common oestrogens on fetal development. These chemicals include bisphenol A, an artificial compound with oestrogenic properties that is used in the hard plastic lining of tin cans. When tins are exposed to high temperatures, this chemical may leach into food.
The team also looked at the oestrogenic component of birth-control pills, called ethinyl estradiol. About 3% of the 60 million women in the United States and Europe on birth control are estimated to become unintentionally pregnant while taking these drugs.