The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a research in 2009 to test the blood samples from 10 different umbilical cord, to find the availability of toxic chemicals. It was found that there were more than 230 industrial pollutants across all 10 samples. Meanwhile lead, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the pollutants that were common in all the 10 samples.
Usually, industrial pollution starts affecting people long before they take their first sip of water. They get exposed to chemicals that can cause brain damage, cancer and other serious health problems. All this happens inside the place that’s most critical to human development - the womb. Thus, the issue of lead contamination in the drinking water is being strictly scrutinized by many research organizations, national media outlets and the Congress as well.
According to reports, the underground water of a number of regions in the United States is contaminated with harmful pollutants. This poses a serious and a lifelong threat to the health of millions of lives.
Not only women, lead ingestion is unsafe for men too at every level. It is a highly neurotoxic metal, linked to permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. Not only that, it is also responsible for behavioural & learning difficulties, hyperactivity, slowed growth, hearing & reproductive problems and nerve disorders. This has been confirmed by a research led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Another research conducted by the EWG in 2009 states, ”Results of the researches done in the last three years conclude that lead clearly damages the brain. Advancements in behavioral and cognitive testing have helped researchers in identifying harm at even lower exposures. However, there is no identified safe threshold for its exposure in humans for now.”
So, how does this pollutant enter into cord blood?
It enters the body with the consumption of lead contaminated tap water. Another way it enters the body is via the air breathed that contains dust from chipped lead paints of old houses. For that, filters can prove to be a better option. They can significantly reduce lead proportion in your house, if not completely remove it.
Mercury is a naturally occurring element and a rather notorious neurotoxin that can impede the brain development and nervous system of a pregnant woman. The main source of mercury contamination is coal-fired power plants. In fact, this has even tainted the oceans along with natural & fresh waterways around the globe.
How does mercury get into the cord blood?
Eating food tainted with methyl-mercury is the primary cause of Mercury exposures to the baby inside a mother.
Sometimes the level of mercury can be very high in seafoods like tuna. Pregnant women should completely avoid consuming tuna during pregnancy. Similarly, they should refrain from eating shark, swordfish and marlin as well. It is important for pregnant women to avoid such foods for the betterment of their baby.
They should conduct researches on foods containing toxic impurities, it can decrease the chances of baby’s health related complications before hand.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a family of toxic chemicals. The federal government banned them amid exhibiting evidence that these are extremely harmful to human health. EPA recommends them as “Probable Human Carcinogens”. They pose lethal threats to the immune and neurological system of our body.
How do they find their way into our body?
Primarily, it gets into the human body through food. Although, PCBs get into the food chain in several ways. They can get into the food when you include packaged foods in your meals.
Avoiding an exposure to such harmful pollutants is difficult. Because these omnipresent chemicals have now reached even to the remote corners of the world. Still, you need to keep yourself educated regarding all these pollutants and try to stay as away as possible. After all, it’s all for the baby’s well being.