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The Key Element Doctors Are Neglecting to Warn Pregnant Patients About

Despite the negative outcomes associated with environmental hazards on newborns, very few obstetricians report speaking with their pregnant patients about the dangers posed by toxic substances in the environment, NPR’s Shots blog reports. The findings are based on a study published in PLoS One in which 2,500 obstetricians were asked whether they counseled their pregnant patients on environmental hazards such as heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides. “Less than 20 percent of the obstetricians reported asking pregnant women about their exposure to environmental hazards” Physicians cited “cited uncertainty about the evidence, fear of creating anxiety in their patients and concern that patients had no way to reduce their exposure” as reasons why they did not approach the subject.

Read the article published by NPR’s Shots blog.

Read the study in PLoS One.