Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
News and Comment
RCOG report on chemical exposures during pregnancy
5 June 2013Our reaction to the report
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists released a Scientific Impact Paper on Chemical exposures during pregnancy: Dealing with potential, but unproven, risks to child health on Wednesday 5th June 2013. It advises mothers-to-be that “the best approach for pregnant women is a ‘safety first’ approach, which is to assume there is risk present even when it may be minimal or eventually unfounded” and advises women to ask their doctors if they want to know more. We think this is a missed opportunity to set out the ways pregnant women can cut thorough the confusing debates about chemicals and pregnancy.
Tracey Brown said: “Pregnancy is a time when people spend a lot of time and money trying to work out which advice to follow, and which products to buy or avoid. The simple question parents want answered during pregnancy is: ‘Should we be worried?’
What we need is help in navigating these debates about chemicals and pregnancy. Disappointingly, the RCOG report has ducked this.
As the report itself shows, there are many unfounded rumours about links between particular substances and pregnancy outcomes. By contrast, we have plenty of evidence that stress is a major risk factor in pregnancy. Researchers and professional bodies should not be adding to it.”
BBC radio 4 Today programme Tracey Brown discusses report at 7.13 am and toxicologist Professor Alastair Hay & co-author of report Dr Michelle Bellingham discuss risks of chemicals to pregnant women at 7.51 am.
BBC World Service Newsday Tracey Brown criticises RCOG report on pregnancy advice (at 6.38am).
BBC Radio Berkshire Tracey Brown explains why the RCOG report is far from a helpful piece of advice for pregnant women (at 7.49am).
Tabitha Innocent talks to Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live about the confusion that the RCOG report could cause (at 10.36am)
ITV news Pregnancy safety advice row
Irish Independent Pregnant woman worned about chemicals in common household products
BBC News blog by Fergus Walsh Chemicals: a worry for pregnant women?
Channel 4 News Pregnancy advice on chemicals 'alarmist' and 'unrealistic'
NHS Choices Controversial advice on chemicals in pregnancy
Prestwich and Whitefield Guide Chemicals warning to pregnant women
Guardian blog Does the Royal College pregnancy report stand up?
Science Media Centre pregnancy advice: trying to be helpful
TopNews United States Experts criticize RCOG report