Exposure to Toxic Chemicals Among Pregnant Women and Children: The Role of Prevention with Dr. Tracey Woodruff

March 25, 2014 @ 10:00am (AKDT)

Join Tracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH, Director of University of California at San Francisco’s Program on Reproductive Health & the Environment for a discussion on evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks. Learn how children and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to exposures from harmful chemicals found in everyday products. Learn about the latest scientific evidence linking exposure to environmental chemicals during critical and sensitive windows of development.

Alaska Senate Bill 151: Toxic-Free Children’s Act

Senator Olson Introduces “Toxic-Free Children’s Act” to Protect Alaskans – Senate Bill 151 bans the sale of children’s products with certain toxic flame retardants

JUNEAU- Senator Donny Olson, D-Golovin, has introduced Senate Bill 151, the “Toxic-Free Children Act”.  SB151 bans the sale of children’s products containing toxic flame retardants known as “Tris.”

“Children are Alaska’s most precious resource. From the point of conception through the first years of development, they are especially vulnerable to the effects of exposure to toxic chemicals,” said Senator Olson.  “Alaskans know well the devastating impacts of fetal alcohol exposure and it is 100 percent preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.  Protecting developing children from exposure to toxic chemicals is not as simple.”


California law change sparks debate over use of flame retardants in furniture. Flame retardants are commonplace in most upholstered furniture to help prevent house fires. But studies have linked the chemicals to cancer and fertility problems, prompting California to change the state’s furniture flammability standards.

“Flame retardants in building insulation: a case for re-evaluating building codes” was published in the prestigious British journal Building Research and Information.

A study with Heather Stapleton identifying the toxic flame retardants in most of the couches in America was published in Environmental Science & Technology

Novel and high volume use flame retardants in US couches reflective of the 2005 PentaBDE phase out. Environ Sci Technol. 2012 Dec 18;46(24):13432-9. doi: 10.1021/es303471d. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

A paper finding that 80% of baby products tested contained halogenated flame retardant chemicals was the top paper of 2011 in Environmental Science & Technology:

Identification of flame retardants in polyurethane foam collected from baby products. Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Jun 15;45(12):5323-31. doi: 10.1021/es2007462. Epub 2011 May 18.

Featured speakers

Tracey Woodruff, UCSFTracey Woodruff, Ph.D., MPH is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and the Director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.  She has done extensive research and policy development on environmental health issues, with a particular emphasis on early-life development.  Her research areas include evaluating prenatal exposures to environmental chemicals and related adverse pregnancy outcomes, and characterizing developmental risks.  She has authored numerous scientific publications and book chapters.  She was previously at the US EPA, where she was a senior scientist and policy advisor in the Office of Policy, and author of numerous government documents.  She is an Associate Editor of Environmental Health Perspectives.

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