How should health care providers advise pregnant women about the potential hazards of environmental exposures to toxins? My doctor counseled me on the dangers of mercury in fish and even recommended I avoid tilapia imported from China because of its high PCB levels. That was it.
He didn’t mention whether I should avoid sitting around nail and hair salons, using household cleaning products, or consuming BPA in canned food. Why didn’t he — and why didn’t the doctors who treat my friends?
Naomi Lubick discusses the difficulty facing physicians who juggle the uncertainties of specific hazards with the strong evidence linking environmental exposures to serious health problems. Read it here: Advising Parents in the Face of Scientific Uncertainty: An Environmental Health Dilemma (Environmental Health Perspectives, 10/1/2011).