Screening for 163 chemicals, researchers found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides, perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), phenols, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and perchlorate in 99 to 100 percent of pregnant women. Among the chemicals found in the study group was dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane ( DDT), an organochlorine pesticide banned in the United States in 1972.
Bisphenol A (BPA), found in the lining metal food and beverage cans, was identified in 96 percent of the women surveyed. Prenatal exposure to BPA has been linked to adverse health outcomes, affecting brain development and increasing susceptibility to cancer later in life.
Complete findings available here: Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the US: NHANES 2003-2004 (ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info:doi/10.1289/ehp.1002727#Supplemental%20Material) by Tracey J. Woodruff, Ami R. Zota, Jackie M. Schwartz.
The Need For Better Public Health Decisions On Chemicals Released Into Our Environment by Tracey J. Woodruff, Thomas A. Burke, and Lauren Zeise
In the past seventy years, the manufacture and use of industrial chemicals has increased more than fifteenfold . . . People are now exposed to multiple environmental chemicals in the air, food, water, and a variety of consumer products, such as phthalates, which can be added to plastics to increase their flexibility; brominated flame retardants, such as those used in furniture; and perfluorinated chemicals, which are used to make surfaces stain- or stick-resistant. Many of these chemicals appear in measurable quantities in Americans’ bodies and can be associated with adverse health effects.