News Roundup March 4th

lily-totoro-colorAlcohol Consumption in Early Stages of Pregnancy Has Harmful Effect on Placenta

Scientists have identified two harmful effects of consuming alcohol during the early stages of a pregnancy: Damage to the placenta and reduction of the important amino acid called ‘Taurine’ that is delivered through the placenta from the mother to her baby. “This research also suggests that women who are trying to conceive should not drink, as the damage caused by alcohol can happen very early on in pregnancy — perhaps before a woman knows she is pregnant”, said John Aplin, a professor of reproductive biomedicine at Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at The University of Manchester. Read more here.

New Guidelines by The American Dental Association

As reported this month in the New York Times, the A.D.A. has issued new guidelines for fluoride toothpaste use with our youngest children. The A.D.A. has previously recommended that children begin to use a pea size amount of fluoride paste beginning at 24 months. Due to a rising number of cavities in very young children, the A.D.A. has changed the recommendation to a “tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste” twice daily once teeth erupt. Read full recommendation here.

Researchers Warn of Chemical Impacts on Babies

In 2006 Scientists identified five chemicals that could be reliably classified as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, arsenic, poly-chlorinated biphenyls, and toluene. A recent study by the same team of researchers has led to their assertion that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered.  They say that untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development and that many chemicals could have damaging effects on the fetal and early childhood brain. They propose an update of the 38-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act and a global prevention strategy to protect the next generation of brains.  Read more here.

 This News Roundup was compiled and co-authored by Jean Kurnik, M.A.

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