A recent study by University of California, San Francisco, researchers has found
that that the bodies of virtually all pregnant women in the United States carry
multiple chemicals, including PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, perfluorinated
compounds (PFCs), phenols, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs),
phthalates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and perchlorate. Tracey
Woodruff, et al., “Environmental Chemicals in Pregnant Women in the U.S.:
NHANES 2003-2004,” Environmental Health Perspectives, January 14, 2011.
The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination
Survey (NHANES) to determine if 163 chemicals were in the blood or urine
of 268 pregnant women sampled between 2003 and 2004.


Of the 163 chemicals studied, 43 of them were found in virtually all 268 women
in the study. Bisphenol A (BPA) was found in 96 percent of the women. A brokendown
form of DDT, a pesticide banned in the United States in 1972, was found
in nearly all the women. Chemicals found in 99 percent of the women included
PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, PFCs, phenols, PBDEs, phthalates, PAHs, and
perchlorate. The study recommends further research to help understand sources
of exposure and implications for policymaking.