Sandra Steingraber is an ecologist, author, cancer survivor, and internationally recognized expert on the environmental links to cancer and reproductive health.
"In umbilical cord blood alone, 287 different chemicals have been identified, including pesticides, stain removers, wood preservatives, mercury, and flame retardants. Our current environmental regulatory apparatus does not take into account the timing of exposure. And yet the science clearly shows that toxic exposures during key moments of infant and child development—especially during the opera of embryonic development—raise risks for harm in ways that are not predictable by dose. Benzo[a]pyrene, an ingredient in tobacco smoke, diesel exhaust, and soot, can damage eggs in the ovaries. Exposure to pesticides in men can reduce sperm count. Thus, our environmental policies may be eroding our fertility. And if a pregnancy is achieved, exposure to certain chemicals raises the risk that it will be lost through miscarriage, or what we in the scientific community call spontaneous abortion. Evidence suggests that the pesticide methoxchlor has this power, as do certain chemical solvents..."