Written by attorney Christopher Michael Mellino

Exposure to Toxins During Pregnancy & What it May Mean for Your Child's Health

Unfortunately, exposure to toxins during pregnancy may still affect some women despite their best efforts to avoid them. This exposure may, in some cases, have negative effects on a developing fetus and exposure to chemicals during pregnancy could even cause certain developmental and other birth defects.

In some instances, this harm is the result of someone else’s negligence. When this happens, the mother or her family may be able to file a lawsuit against the party that was responsible with help from a Cleveland birth injury attorney.

Types of Exposure to Toxins During Pregnancy

Illegal drugs are among the best known toxins that can affect a pregnancy. While most women know not to indulge in illegal narcotics while they’re expecting, no conversation about exposure to toxins during pregnancy would be complete without addressing the dangers of these substances to a developing fetus. Drugs like marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs can cause birth defects and addiction in babies.

Food-borne toxins, like listeria and salmonella, can also sometimes cross the placenta and affect the developing fetus, causing illness or even death. This is why there is a long list of foods to avoid – or to prepare with care – during pregnancy.

Exposure to environmental chemicals during pregnancy may occur through exposure to things around the pregnant women:

  • cleaning products (like insect repellant and pesticide);
  • some personal care products (like phthalates, found in perfumes);
  • certain plastics (don’t use plastic containers with “7" on them); and
  • painting products (like lead paint, often found in homes built prior to 1978).

Women who work in factories and other environments in which hazardous products are often used may be at higher risk. For example, toxoplasmosis is a common environmental toxin associated with cats that may lead to blindness or mental disability. Those who care for cats at home or in veterinary or pound environments may be at increased risk. Negligent exposure to chemicals during pregnancy caused by another party may warrant a consultation with a Cleveland birth injury attorney to review the case details.

Prescription drugs are another source of exposure to toxins during pregnancy. While meant to improve health, prescription drugs are sometimes wrongly prescribed or dispensed incorrectly by dosage.

Any drug can have harmful effects under some circumstances, and when prescribing a pharmaceutical for anyone – especially a pregnant woman – a doctor needs to weigh the risks against the benefits. Sometimes, medical negligence in this respect can lead to harmful or tragic results, in which case a Cleveland birth injury attorney may consult parents whose child has been affected.

Effects of Exposure to Toxins or Chemicals During Pregnancy

Different toxins can affect pregnancy in different ways. Some toxins can cause miscarriage or preterm labor, while others are teratogenic, which means they can cause birth defects, such as Down’s syndrome, deformities, spinal problems, and more.

Women who are exposed to chemicals during pregnancy may not realize it for a long time. In some cases, it’s not until after multiple miscarriages or after their babies are born with an illness or defect that doctors run tests to find the cause.

How a Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love was exposed to toxins during pregnancy, seek the counsel of a Cleveland birth injury attorney at Mellino Robenalt LLC. An attorney can help you gather evidence to support your case and will stand by you to represent your rights throughout the claims process if bringing a suit for another's negligence in causing exposure to toxins during pregnancy.

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