A two-year study involving five independent research laboratories in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands has found up to 232 toxic chemicals in the umbilical cord blood of 10 babies from racial and ethnic minority groups. The findings constitute hard evidence that each child was exposed to a host of dangerous substances while still in its mother’s womb.
Government, academic and independent biomonitoring studies, including those by EWG, have detected up to 358 industrial chemicals, pesticides and pollutants in the cord blood of American infants. Exploring the so-called “additive” effects of possible carcinogens, hormone disrupters and neurotoxins is a new and urgent priority for environmental health scientists. EWG supports this very important work.
But as this science moves forward, we need to act now to reduce exposures that present the greatest health threats based on what we know today, even as scientists struggle to understand how the cocktail of chemicals in the womb could harm current and future generations.
Many of the up to 232 compounds detected in this study have been the target of regulatory action and government controls. As a rule, however, these actions came far too late, well after the environment and the human race were polluted to a degree that has raised serious health concerns. Our failure to act quickly has ensured that these chemicals will continue to pollute future generations for decades, even centuries to come.
EWG Minority Cord Blood Report Executive Summary | Environmental Working Group