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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Podcast: Preventing Prenatal Exposures

From the National Institutes of
Environmental Health Sciences

January 27, 2015

Pregnant women and their developing babies are particularly vulnerable to harmful environmental exposures. Although many physicians talk to expecting mothers about smoking, alcohol, and nutrition, a new study shows doctors are less comfortable talking to patients about the environmental contaminants that women may be exposed to at home or at work.

Read a Transcript

This podcast identifies some common contaminants of concern and discusses how doctors and pregnant women can work together to reduce prenatal exposures.



Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH is a professor in the department of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, and director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, at the University of California, San Francisco. Her research focuses on advancing scientific inquiry, professional training, public education, and health policies that reduce the impacts of environmental contaminants on reproductive and developmental health.

She has investigated the exposure of pregnant women to bisphenol-A, phthalates, mercury, and many other environmental contaminants. Her innovative multidisciplinary approach integrates exposure research with efforts to translate scientific findings to healthcare providers, policy makers and community groups.

For More Information

Toxic Matters: Find brochures and other materials providing simple steps pregnant women can take to reduce exposures on this website created by the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.

Toxic Environmental Agents: Read the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ scientific statement and other resources on the risks of exposure to contaminants during pregnancy.

NIEHS Reproductive Health Page: Discover ongoing studies and basic information about what NIEHS is doing on reproductive health.

Household Products Database: Search or browse household products such as cleaners, pesticides and more at this website maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to get health and safety information and reduce your exposures.

Reducing Your Exposure to Harmful Substances: Explore this collection of resources from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to learn ways to limit your exposure to lead, mercury, mold and other harmful contaminants.

Resources for Clinicians: Health care professionals can find fact sheets, videos, and scientific publications about environmental hazards at this website from the University of California, San Francisco Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units.

Assessing Environmental Exposures during Pregnancy: Learn how researchers are working to improve understanding of environmental exposures during pregnancy with an assessment known as the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).
Related Environmental Health Chat Episodes:


Stotland NE, Sutton P, Trowbridge J, Atchley DS, Conry J, Trasande L, Gerbert B, Charlesworth A, Woodruff TJ. Counseling patients on preventing prenatal environmental exposures - a mixed-methods study of obstetricians. PLoS One. 2014; 9(6):e98771.[Abstract]

Woodruff TJ, Zota AR, Schwartz JM. Environmental chemicals in pregnant women in the United States: NHANES 2003-2004. Environ Health Perspect. 2011 Jun; 119(6):878-85.[Abstract]

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