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The Effects of Environmental Hazards on Prenatal Development - Essay Example

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A particular stage of development fails to take place normally, especially the critical period when cells multiply and enlarge to form organs. Prenatal development is…
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The Effects of Environmental Hazards on Prenatal Development
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Download file to see previous pages This essay is a critique of the effects of environmental hazards on prenatal development. It presents the impacts of the environmental influences especially during the initial stages of development whereby the vital systems of the body as well as tissues develop.
Drugs are chemicals that are ingested for the purpose of treatment, to relieve pain or stress as well as for stimulation of the body. Some drugs are prescribed by a physician for curing a disease while others may be taken illegally for other reasons. Hepper et al. (2005) observes that more than 10% of the newborn defects are associated with ingestion of chemicals during pregnancy. The more the drugs or substances ingested, the severe the birth defects, especially when they are taken in the first 3 months of prenatal development. Some of the drugs are such as narcotics are infectious, leading to addiction in newborns. Research indicates that infants who were exposed to drugs such as heroin and such narcotics develop withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth. They may develop shivers, seizures and breathing difficulties (Stocks and Dezateux 2003).
Other nicotine containing substances and carbon monoxide can adversely affect the fetus. Stocks and Dezateux (2003) observe that unprompted abortions are among the risks associated with maternal smoking. Bleeding is also associated with smoking during pregnancy, as well as the breakage of the amniotic sac before maturity. Generally, smoking is a potential cause of miscarriage and death of infants immediately after birth. If the fetus survives to maturity, the newborn is usually more than 20% lighter than the normal birth weight. The body size is also reduced, which is a sign of premature birth. Such infants suffer many health problems (Weisberg 2007).
Alcohol is one of the most abused drugs during pregnancy, which may be attributed to ignorance and addiction. Hepper ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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