Environmental Hazards Which Effect Pregnacy Essay, Research Paper
Environmental Hazards That Effect Pregnancy
Did you know that 30 to 80 percent of all conceptions end in miscarriages, stillbirth or early infant death? And that men?s sperm counts have gone down by 40 percent during the last thirty years? There are many reasons that these things happen. Most of these factors to a healthy birth have to do with the environment. Some examples include radiation, viruses, drugs and chemicals. These are the cause of 5 to 11 percent to birth defects and can cause miscarriages.
Toxic substances come in many forms. You should know the different forms to look out for. There are hazardous vapors such as the fumes that come from turpentine and paint thinner. Mists like spray paints. Metalic fumes, gases and dust. A toxic substance is a poison, which enters the body and damages its organ systems.
Toxic substances enter the body from absorption through skin, inhalation through mouth and nose and ingestion by eating or drinking around a toxic substance. So you should always be cautious around hazardous material.
Some examples of chemicals to steer clear of, and their effects are: Maganese and antimony because they interfere with sex drive and can cause impotence, Cadium and lead can cause testicular damage, Tolnene, xylene, and formaldahyde can cause menstrual disorders, lead and benzene cause mutations to chromosomes and offspring.
The way it works is that once a poison enters you body, it circulates through the bloodstream and passes through the placenta. The amount of damage it causes depends on the stage of pregnancy and the amount of the toxin that gets into the body. The type of toxin also makes a difference. In the first trimester, which is when the organs are developed, Pentachlorophenol, lithium, mercury and ethyl alcohol can cause birth defects. Lead and carbon can also cause miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
Here is a table of the reproductive effects of chemical poisoning:
Males- Before conception:
Ø Loss of sex drive
Ø Lowered fertility(damaged semen)
Ø Genetic damage to sperm cells
Ø Testicular changes/damages
Ø Cancer of reproductive system
Females- Before conception:
Ø Loss of sex drive
Ø Lower fertility(production of damaged eggs or deceased ability to ovulate)
Ø Genetic damage to eggs (mutations)
Ø Menstrual changes/disorders
Ø Cancer of reproductive organs
Ø Increased vulnerability of mother
Ø Complications (miscarriages, spontaneous abortions etc.)
Ø Exposure to teratogens result in developmental damage resulting in fetal death, birth defects, growth retardation, premature birth, low birth weight, etc.
Ø Exposure to toxic chemicals results in miscarriages, organ damage, spontaneous abortions, etc.
Fetus or newborn- Before Conception:
Ø Conception prevented or made more difficult
Ø Mutations from damaged egg or sperm
Ø Toxic effects on newborn from chemicals transmitted in breast milk
Ø Exposure to carcinogens ? possible cancer during pregnancy
My interpretation of this table is that there are many effects to getting a chemical in your system, but there are also many other things that cause birth defects etc. one of which is alcohol.
Alcohol effects pregnancy because it causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). A milder version of birth defects caused by alcohol is called Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE). FAS is a disease caused by excessive drinking. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is the leading cause of mental retardation, and much of the damage is done before the mother is even aware of her pregnancy.
Alcohol effects the baby when you consume it because babies don?t metabolize alcohol as well as adults, so the alcohol has a bigger effect on the fetus than on the mother. This raises the risk of miscarriages and other birth defects. One FAS occurs every 750 live births, FAE occurs in 10 in every 1000 live births (36,000 per year).
Some effects include low birth weight and they never grow up to the same level as their peers in physical growth. You can tell that someone has FAS when they have a small head size, Narrow eyes slits, flat midface low nasal ridge, loss of groove between nose and upper lip. Also if they are mentally retarded, sleep disturbances, restlessness and irritability, developmental delays, short attention span, and learning disabilities, they also have muscle problems, bone and joint problems, genital defects, heart defects and kidney defects.
The only sure way to prevent FAS, is to not drink or take any drugs during pregnancy or breast-feeding because ?Even one drink risks an unborn baby?s health? . Some alcoholics can have healthy babies and some women who only occasionally drink can give birth to a baby with full-blown FAS. The most important time is the first trimester because that is when abnormal features can be caused. The cells can be damaged before they even divide, and the brain is extra sensitive and alcohol can lower the amount of cells growing in the brain and its neurons are found in the wrong places and this is why there is growth retardation, and low birth weight. The mother also does not always know when she is pregnant right at the beginning and if she has been drinking, she should immediately stop, and get regular parental care.
There is no cure for FAS and the average amount of money spent on a typical case is $2 million in a lifetime, and costs an average taxpayer $321 million every year.
Teratogens are any disease, drug, or other environmental agent that can harm a developing fetus by causing deformities, blindness, brain damage or even death. Some everyday examples of teratogens are caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, and alcohol. Examples of prescription teratogens are drugs like Thalidomide, Aspirin, Antibiotics (both Srteptomyum, and Tetracycline). Teratogens are responsible for the some effect that alcohol has on the baby.
When someone is pregnant, they should be on a strict, healthy diet, with lots of vitamins and nutrients for the baby. Once the baby is no longer living off of its mother, she can drink and smoke and be as irresponsible as she would like to be because it only concerns their own body, and not the body of a poor innocent human. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be prevented, so a child?s life should not be ruined because of someone else?s mistakes.
A toxic substance is a lot more difficult to control if the mother is faced with situations involving chemicals, but proper precautions should be taken to avoid an accident. Once acquired, birth defects can sometimes be improved to a better condition, but never erased, and most are just permanent. So be careful!!