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Can the Gulf Oil Spill Harm Babies in the Womb?

In general, the levels of potentially harmful chemicals released from the gulf oil spill are below the levels that could cause harm to pregnant women or their unborn babies. However, the chemicals in the oil could cause harm under some conditions.

The effects depend on how the mother came into contact with the oil, how long she was in contact with it, and how often she came into contact with it.

According to Live Science:

“The CDC recommends that everyone, including pregnant women, avoid the oil and spill-affected areas. Chemicals can enter the body in several ways, some of which may go unnoticed. People can be exposed to the chemicals by breathing them, by swallowing them, or by absorption through the skin. Generally, a pregnant woman will see or smell the chemicals in oil before they can hurt her or the baby, the CDC says.”

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