By: Isabella Carson
Women are around chemicals every single day. Normally this is not a problem, but when they are pregnant it could end up affecting the baby long-term. There are certain common chemicals that are found around the home and in cleaning products that women who are pregnant should stay away from because studies have found that as the children grow the exposure to these chemicals can lower their IQ.
Di-n-butly phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) are most often found in plastics and air fresheners. Studies performed showed that children whose mothers had exposure to these chemicals on a constant basis had a lower IQ of an average of six points than their peers whose mothers had limited exposure. The researchers of this study stated that women who are carrying a child should limit their exposure to plastics that are labeled with the recycling numbers 3, 6, and 7 as well as plastics that are microwaved. They said that they should also stay away from dryer sheets and air fresheners as these two chemicals are commonly found in these products.
Associate professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University, Pam Factor-Litvak, PhD, states that while these phthalates have been banned from certain children’s toys they haven’t been taken out of products that women use every single day even though they have been linked to lower IQs. She states that during pregnancy is one of the most crucial brain development periods and yet there are no laws that regulate the exposure to chemicals in this state.
The journal PLOS ONE a study that linked the exposure to these chemicals and the children’s IQs down the road. They studied 328 women from New York City that lived in low-income areas. They collected urine samples from the women in their third trimesters to measure the amount of exposure that they had to these chemicals. They found that the women who had lower exposure levels had children whose IQs were within normal ranges while the woman who had more exposure had children whose IQs were an average of 6.6 to 7.6 points lower. While 6 to 7 points may not seem like that much it can definitely hinder a child’s ability to perform academically.