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 environmental hazard to prenatal development called?
Teratogens are any agents from the environment that can cause harm to the developing fetus.
What environmental influences can affect prenatal development?
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 can harm prenatal development?
Prenatal risk factors include chronic maternal illness, certain maternal infections, toxin exposures and nutritional deficiencies. Risk factors in the perinatal period include pregnancy-related complications, prematurity and low birth weight, and infection exposure during pregnancy or at time of birth.
What environmental factors are harmful to the development of the unborn child?
Environmental factors which have been implicated in adverse pregnancy outcome include smoking, video display terminals, anesthetic gases, antineoplastic drugs and exposure to lead, selenium and inorganic mercury.
What are examples of teratogens?
A teratogen is something that can cause birth defects or abnormalities in a developing embryo or fetus upon exposure. Teratogens include some medications, recreational drugs, tobacco products, chemicals, alcohol, certain infections, and in some cases, health problems such as uncontrolled diabetes in pregnant people.
What are teratogens and their effects?
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.
What are some environmental factors that influence development?
Environmental factors that influence growth and development in humans include childhood housing arrangements, family income, educational opportunities, interpersonal relationships and employment-related factors, according to Best Start, Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre.
Why is it difficult to determine the prenatal effects of many environmental agents such as drugs and pollution?
It is difficult to completely determine the effects of a particular illicit drug on a developing child because most mothers, who use, use more than one substance.
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 four harmful maternal behaviors that can affect the developing child?
They can include symptoms of maternal anxiety and depression, pregnancy specific anxiety, daily hassles, bereavement, life events, bad relationships and exposure to acute disasters.
What are 3 environmental factors that affect prenatal development?
Other teratogens that affect prenatal development include radiation, pollution, and infectious disease. Radiation increases the risk of childhood cancer, as well as emotional and behavioral disorders; because of this, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid x-rays unless absolutely necessary.
What are environmental teratogens?
Teratogens are defined as any environmental factor that can produce a permanent abnormality in structure or function, restriction of growth, or death of the embryo or fetus.7.