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Studies have now demonstrated that DDE levels, a metabolite of DDT, in the umbilical cord blood of newborn are about one-third the levels of DDE in the mother's blood at the time of birth. A Japanese study released in April 1999 showed even higher levels. These researchers found that umbilical cord blood (as well as placenta and breast milk) had about 90 percent of the level that was in the mother's blood stream.2

Once the pollutants are shuttled cross the placenta, the fetus has far fewer resources for getting rid of toxins than does the mother. The unborn baby lacks a fully functioning liver and kidneys that can clear out pollutants. When chemicals get in, most of them take up permanent residence.

These hormonal disrupters are so powerful that just one harmful dose during a woman's pregnancy can cause harmful effects to her child many years down the road. And in some cases, the mother herself suffers no harm at all.



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