Children’s language delay is more, “Science”: Pregnant women are exposed to too much chemicals

Hormones regulate human development, but chemicals disrupt hormonal activity, which can lead to developmental problems. Daily exposure of pregnant women to endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates, and perfluorinated and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) can increase children’s language development, according to a study published in the journal Science. Risk of delay.

Using data from more than 2,000 pregnant women in Sweden, the research team identified a cocktail of endocrine-disrupting chemicals associated with delayed language development in children. They exposed tadpoles, zebrafish and brain organoids, small brain “prototypes” made from human stem cells, to the same mix of chemicals that were measured in the mothers’ blood. All three organisms saw disruptions in gene regulation responsible for children’s language development.

This critical mixture includes many phthalates, bisphenol A and perfluorinated chemicals. Experimental studies have found that this mixture disrupts the regulation of genes associated with autism, one of which is language impairment, hinders the differentiation of neurons and alters the function of thyroid hormones in neural tissue.

One of the key pathways affected is thyroid hormones. Maternal thyroid hormones are needed for optimal brain growth and development in early pregnancy, so it’s not surprising that language delays are linked to prenatal exposure to chemicals, the researchers said. The researchers demonstrated a 54% risk of language delay in 30-month-old children due to prenatal exposure to a chemical cocktail higher than expected to affect neurodevelopment.

There is growing evidence that environmental chemicals to which humans are constantly exposed may have endocrine-disrupting properties and therefore may pose risks to human and animal health and development, the researchers said. These commodities enter the human body from a variety of sources including water, food and air, and while exposure to individual chemicals is usually below the limit, exposure to the same chemicals in mixtures can still affect human health.

This study reflects a serious regulatory issue, even in compliance with regulatory concentrations, exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) is associated with major disease in humans, possibly because humans are exposed to mixtures of chemicals, and current regulations are based on individual compounds risk assessment.

The study, published last year in the journal Environmental Research, looked at the relationship between the use of personal care products by pregnant women and sex steroid hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormones, and found that disruption of these hormones could lead to adverse outcomes, such as newborns Growth restriction, preterm birth, and low birth weight, even affect puberty, and may affect the development of hormone-sensitive cancers. Participants in a strong beauty culture with household incomes over $100,000 used personal care products more frequently than those with lower household incomes.

Because these chemicals are so common and regulated differently in different countries, it is difficult for pregnant women to consciously limit their exposure. “This discovery is very disturbing,” said one of the authors of the study, a professor at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris.

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