Chemicals and pregnancy: Two things I think shouldn't go together. They're not exactly chocolate and peanut butter. More like chocolate and battery acid. So when yet another study came out urging pregnant women to play it safe and be careful about exposing themselves to chemicals, I kind of thought, well duh. But chemical apologists some people are saying the study is too alarmist.
The advice from the study admits there's not a whole lot of evidence that exposing yourself to everyday chemicals in food packaging, cosmetics, medications, and the like will actually harm a developing fetus. But they say maybe we should assume it's possibly harmful anyway. Just because it hasn't been proven doesn't mean the risk isn't still there.
Okay, that does sound really flaky. But the problem, they say, is that women are exposed to levels of chemicals too low to be labeled -- but those chemicals are in everything. A lot of a little adds up, you know? It's the cumulative effect the doctors are worried about, not any one product on its own.
That's what's so freaky about environmental chemicals -- it's that they're everywhere. And we go around feeling safe most of the time. No one is dropping dead from using plastic wrap. But there's cancer, there's attention deficit disorders, there's all kinds of diseases and conditions that can't be traced to any one thing. It's just ... our modern-day lives. All we know is that some things cross the placenta -- and that should make pregnant moms especially vigilant.
So I agree -- I think it's better to be a little bit paranoid (maybe not OBSESSED) and pay attention to your exposure. What's the worst that could happen? You end up buying different things, eating differently, and it's all fine.
Are you hyper vigilant about your exposure to chemicals during pregnancy, or do you think it's nothing to worry about?
Image via Erika/Flickr