Q&A: Can exposure to pesticide during pregnancy harm my baby?
Can exposure to pesticide during pregnancy harm my baby?
This is a tough question! The answer depends on the amount of exposure. Studies have shown greater chances of birth defects for moms that had greater exposure—for instance, those living in an area with crop dusting. In this day and age it is difficult to avoid all pesticides, but the best approach is to limit exposure as much as you can.
Here are some ideas:
- If you have a pest problem in your home, use sticky strips and traps rather than chemicals during pregnancy.
- If you must get your home sprayed, take all family members and pets out of the house before spraying, and cover food and all items that might come in contact with food. Have someone else open the windows for ventilation and wash all the kitchen surfaces before you go back in.
- If pesticides are being sprayed near your home, close the windows and turn off the AC during application.
- If you work in a garden where pesticides have been used, wear gloves and fully cover your skin to prevent absorption.
- Wash fruits and vegetables. Organic produce is probably safer, especially for foods that are hard to wash like berries.
For more information, check out the March of Dimes website, which has lots of information on keeping your baby safe during pregnancy.