Pregnant women who have been exposed to toxic chemicals from perfumes and plastics are unknowingly passing the pollutants on to their fetuses, a new report suggests. The Environmental Working Group, which has an office in Oakland, found the toxics in the umbilical cords of ten newborns it tested. The report provides strong evidence that cosmetic manufacturers and chemical companies should be required to publicly disclose the chemicals they use and thoroughly test them before putting them on the market.
The Chron reports that seven of the ten umbilical cords studied contained synthetic fragrances, Galaxolide and Tonalide, which are toxic to aquatic wildlife and have been shown to cause hormonal problems. The fragrances are used in scented soaps, perfumes, and colognes.
The study also found bisphenol A, a synthetic estrogen used in plastics, in nine of the ten umbilical cords. The chemical has been linked to breast cancer, hormonal problems, and sexual dysfunction. Congress is currently considering banning the chemical, which is used in plastic baby bottles, plastic food containers, and the lining of food cans.