Chemicals in newborn blood

July 15, 2005|By Knight Ridder/Tribune

Newborn babies begin life with dozens of man-made chemicals in their blood, according to a report released yesterday by the Environmental Working Group in Washington. Blood from the umbilical cords of 10 infants born in U.S. hospitals in 2004 showed an average of 200 industrial compounds, pollutants, pesticides and other chemicals, according to the study.

Newborn blood has been analyzed before, but never for such a broad array of chemicals, said Jane Houlihan, the group's vice president for research. The latest research detected a total of 287 compounds in the 10 samples, she said, including 209 that have never been reported previously in newborn blood. "Babies are much more vulnerable to industrial chemicals than an adult," Houlihan said. "The reality is that the safety of these ... has never been studied."

- Knight Ridder/Tribune

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