What is environmental hazards in prenatal development?
These chemicals include commonly known hazards such as lead, mercury, and environmental tobacco smoke, as well as some pesticides, solvents, products containing chlorine, and other chemicals referred to as “persistent organic pollutants.” The fetus is particularly vulnerable to environmental chemicals that can disrupt …
What is the term for an environmental substance that can harm prenatal development?
Today, researchers understand a greater deal about teratogens, a term used to describe the broad range of conditions and substances that can increase the risk of prenatal problems and abnormalities. 1 Teratogens can cause a wide range of problems from low birth-weight to brain damage to missing limbs.
What is an example of an environmental influence during the prenatal stage?
Environmental influences ranging from radioactivity and stress in the outside world to drugs, chemicals, hormones, and viruses in the mother’s bloodstream can affect prenatal development. Such threats affect the health of the fetus in several ways.
What are environmental factors that may produce birth defects called?
Environmental Factors and Birth Defects
A teratogen is an environmental agent that can cause abnormalities in an exposed fetus. The effects depend on the nature of the teratogen, the timing at which the exposure occurs and, most likely, the genetic susceptibility of the mother and/or the fetus.
What is a teratogenic effect?
Teratogens are drugs, chemicals, or even infections that can cause abnormal fetal development. There are billions of potential teratogens, but only a few agents are proven to have teratogenic effects. These effects can result in a baby being born with a birth defect.
Which of the following is an example of an environmental toxin that can harm fetal development?
Studies have shown that virtually all pregnant women in the U.S. have measurable levels of several toxins in their bodies that pose real threats to the development of the fetus. These dangerous chemicals include phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA) and flame retardants.
What are some environmental factors that influence development?
Over the past 100 years, the study of environmental influences on human physical growth and development has focused on the influences of social and economic factors; family and household characteristics; urbanization/modernization; nutrition; and features of the physical environment such as altitude, temperature and …
How do environmental factors affect child development?
An enriching and stimulating home environment fosters healthy growth and brain development by providing a child with love, emotional support, and opportunities for learning and exploration. In families where only one parent is present, there are often fewer economic and emotional resources.
What are the threats to the fetal environment?
Air pollution: A small study of 60 newborns in New York City found that expectant mothers’ exposure to combustion-related urban air pollution — emissions from cars, trucks, residential heating, power generation and tobacco smoking — may alter the structure of chromosomes in their fetuses.
What are these factors called and why is the embryo so susceptible to environmental influences?
Teratogens. A teratogen is any environmental substance or agent—biological, chemical, or physical—that can have a detrimental effect on a developing fetus. Exposure to teratogens during the prenatal stage can significantly raise the risk of birth defects.
What are environmental factors?
Environmental factors include temperature, food, pollutants, population density, sound, light, and parasites. The diversity of environmental stresses that have been shown to cause an increase in asymmetry is probably not exclusive; many other kinds of stress might provide similar effects.
How does teratogens affect prenatal development?
As a baby grows in the womb, teratogens may affect parts of the baby’s body as they are forming. For example, the neural tube closes in the first 3 to 5 weeks of the pregnancy. During this time, teratogens can cause neural tube defects such as spina bifida.