A Correlation Between Month of Conception and Birth Defects, But Why?


According to a new study published in the recent Acta Pædiatrica journal, American women might be wise to skip the baby making during spring and summer months. The study, which analyzed the 30.1 million births in the United States between 1996 and 2002, found that there was an increased number of babies with birth defects born to those women who conceived in April, May, June, and July.

But what’s behind all this? Turns out this is the time of the year when there is also an increase in the levels of pesticides in the surface water across the United States. These pesticides include atrazine (which is banned in Europe but still used in the United States) and nitrates, chemicals already suspected to be harmful to the developing embryo.

But this is the first time that a study has been able to link the increased seasonal concentration of pesticides in surface water to a similar increase in birth defects in newborns conceived in the same months.

This is an important finding, for as Dr Winchester, lead author, says -¦ if our suspicions are right and pesticides are contributing to birth defect risk, we can reverse or modify the factors that are causing these lifelong and often very serious medical problems.”

Image: mikebaird