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Premature births may be linked to seasonal levels of pesticides and nitrates in surface water

des and nitrates as well as to other environmental contaminants is detrimental to many outcomes of pregnancy. As a neonatologist, I am seeing a growing number of birth defects, and preterm births, and I think we need to face up to environmental causes," said Dr Winchester, who is also director of Newborn Intensive Care Services at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis.

"Preterm births in the United States vary month to month in a recurrent and seasonal manner. Pesticides and nitrates similarly vary seasonally in surface water throughout the U.S. Nitrates and pesticides can disrupt endocrine hormones and nitric oxide pathways in the developing fetus," he said.

"I believe this work may lay the foundation for some of the most important basic and clinical research, and public health initiatives of our time. To recognize that what we put into our environment has potential pandemic effects on pregnancy outcome and possibly on child development is a momentous observation, which hopefully will help transform the way humanity cares for its world," said James Lemons, M.D., Hugh McK. Landon Professor of Pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine. Dr. Lemons is director of the section of neonatal-perinatal medicine at the IU School of Medicine and heads the Riley Hospital for Children of Clarian Health's section of neonatal-perinatal medicine.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
7-May-2007


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