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Researchers claim motor vehicle fumes could cause birth defects

Most parents will tell you that their desire to protect and shelter their children began long before they were born. Medical experts have testified for years about the importance of prenatal health to a child's future. With this in mind, an entire industry of books, vitamins, and other products has arisen advising soon-to-be parents on how best to care for their unborn baby.

Yet despite parents' best efforts, sometimes a factor outside of their control can place their child at risk and potentially cause serious birth defects. New studies indicate that this is the case for children exposed to ethyl benzene while still in the womb. Ethyl benzene is a chemical compound which researchers have linked to both cigarette smoke and crude oil, meaning that it can also be found in the fumes emitted from a motor vehicle or a gas pump.

At the recent Pediatric Academic Societies meeting, researchers claimed that unborn children exposed to the dangerous chemical could experience heart-related health problems later in life. The research exposed a specifically high risk associated with congenital heart disease, a very common birth defect which one of the study's leaders labeled as a "major cause of childhood death."

The study included more than 500 babies with congenital heart disease and indicated that over 80 percent of the participants were exposed to ethyl benzene or another deadly chemical compound. African American babies were shown to be especially vulnerable to developing the disease after chemical exposure.

While further investigation is needed to firmly link ethyl benzene to congenital heart disease, parents should be aware of the potential danger associated with overexpose to this toxic chemical.

Source: AFT, "Crude oil chemical linked to heart defect in babies." 30 April, 2011

1 Comment

A good article on a part of pre-natal care is mentioned here. Right from the time a woman knows she is pregnant, each and every action has an effect on the unborn baby. When it comes to chemicals, it is even more dangerous and should be kept at bay from affecting the child.

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