HOW ARE TOXINS PASSED TO THE FETUS?
The placenta, an organ that connects the growing fetus to the uterine wall, oftentimes contains a number of toxins, including mercury, lead, and bacteria. The placenta allows a mother to transfer nutrients and oxygen (among other things) to the developing fetus via the mother’s blood supply. But as a result, the placenta can transfer toxins to the fetus as well.
What toxins pass through the placenta?
It’s important to note that not all toxins can pass from a mother to the fetus. In fact, much of the time, waste from both the mother and her fetus are filtered and discarded by the mother’s liver and kidneys. Still, a 2004 study found that a staggering total of 287 chemicals were found in the umbilical cords of a sample of babies born in August and September of that year. Three specific elements that are most often passed along to the fetus via the placenta include mercury, lead, and cadmium.
Environmental factors make it inevitable for some number of toxins to pass through the placenta to the baby, including from pollution and stress, but other contaminants, for example toxins contained in drinking water, can and should be removed.
BUT, WATER IS NORMALLY SUPER HEALTHY…
It’s true that water offers a lot of benefits, but if water quality isn’t properly monitored or if water is pulled from questionable sources, it could also contain a number of pollutants, including chlorine, chloramine, certain bacteria, and lead.
All of these potential contaminants in water are toxic for both adults and fetuses, but the Minnesota Department of Health adds that well water with high levels of nitrate – 10 milligrams per liter – could cause a fatal disease, called blue baby syndrome, in babies younger than six months old. Blue baby syndrome occurs when nitrites in the water cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen hemoglobin can carry, which leads to death.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO KEEP THE FETUS SAFE?
Even though drinking water seems like public enemy number one right now, it’s one of the easiest health factors to fix.
Home filtration systems are one option to provide consumers with peace of mind about drinking tap water.