Assistant Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Enright and colleagues recently published an article titled, "Prenatal PFAS and psychosocial stress exposures in relation to fetal growth in two pregnancy cohorts: applying environmental mixture methods to chemical and non-chemical stressors," in Environmental International, an open access journal.
In this paper, the researchers examined how exposure to chemicals and stress during pregnancy might impact newborn birth weight. The authors measured both stress and depression through questionnaires, and examined chemical exposures in blood samples during the second trimester of pregnancy. The chemicals the authors focused on in this project were PFAS, a class of chemicals that are commonly found in food packaging, clothing, and non-stick cookware. Higher rates of depression, perceived stress, and some PFAS were related to lower birthweight in this correlational study. This is consistent with other research suggesting that prenatal exposure to chemicals and stress are linked to pregnancy outcomes. Read the full open access article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412022001647