What Causes Chemical Birth Defects?

Every 4.5 minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the U.S. Many different factors that can cause birth defects, including genetic factors, lack of nutrients, and chromosomal problems, to name a few. In many cases, birth defects can also be caused by a mother’s exposure to toxic chemicals from environmental exposures.

But it’s not just mothers who are at risk of being exposed to chemicals that can lead to birth defects — fathers can also be exposed to toxic chemicals that would cause a child to be born with a birth defect. Toxic chemical exposure can happen anywhere but most commonly occurs on the job or in the home.

How Do Toxic Chemicals Cause Birth Defects?

Many toxic chemicals are easily inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin and can have very harmful reproductive consequences when they enter the body. These toxic substances can build up in the body over time, negatively affecting reproductive health—even months or years after the exposure happens. Toxic chemical exposure is one of the major causes of birth defects in children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, “[…] endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and pesticides, have been linked to nervous system defects and developmental problems such as reduced muscle tone and response.”

Because of this, it is important to know which chemicals should be avoided in order to help prevent birth defects.

How Can I Prevent My Child from Having a Birth Defect?

Reducing the risk of birth defects is a topic that many prospective parents and expecting mothers wonder about. With the rise of environmental chemicals used in daily life, expecting parents are seeking trustworthy information about how they can reduce their exposure to these harmful chemicals that are known to cause birth defects.

Those interested in learning more about how to reduce the risk of birth defects can visit a number of helpful public and women’s health websites, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, CDC, UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, and About Kids Health. Some frequently asked questions answered on these sites include important questions about how to reduce the risk of birth defects, like

  • What chemicals or substances should I avoid during pregnancy?
  • What factors increase the risk of having a child with a birth defect?
  • Which chemicals are known to cause birth defects?
  • What precautions can I take to limit my exposure to chemicals known to cause birth defects?
  • What jobs are most at risk of exposure to toxins that can cause birth defects?
  • How can I prevent being exposed to toxic chemicals at work?

One of the most important ways parents can reduce the risk of having a child with birth defects is by preventing their own exposure to toxic chemicals at work. As many health studies have found, substances commonly used in industries like energy production and fracking, electronics and high-tech, semiconductor manufacturing, as well as plastics, rubber and paint manufacturing, are harmful to both men’s and women’s reproductive health.

Prevention of birth defects caused by chemicals can also happen when employers provide helpful information and training about hazardous substances used in the workplace, and when workers follow official guidelines to help avoid being exposed to toxic chemicals on the job.

How We Help Victims of Toxic Exposure

The attorneys of our birth defects victims alliance understand the pain that families face when coping with life-altering birth defects—and the frustration of knowing they could have been prevented. Our team has over 30 years of combined experience in birth defects litigation in cases involving toxic exposure. We have the resources and experience to fight on behalf of our clients against corporations who put them in danger. Contact us now to see how we can help you and your family receive justice for birth defects.