Australian Birth Defects Society

A Society devoted to the study of birth defects


Will a vegetarian diet during pregnancy drive your child to drugs and drink? STAT October 5, 2017.

A well balanced article questioning the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children finding that children of women who ate little of no meat while pregnancy were more likely to abuse alcohol at age 15.


Mothers-to-be should eat organic, claim scientists: Cancer-causing compounds in pesticides can cross the placenta and increase the risk of brain tumours. Daily Mail October 5, 2017.

Based on phone interviews, the authors concluded that exposure to pesticides in pregnancy increased the risk of developing brain tumours by 1.4.


The cost of clean: Disinfectants cause birth defects in baby mice

Environmental Health News June 15, 2017.

Reporting a recent article in Birth Defects Research, this article reports an experiment in mice that observed an increase in neural tube defects from ambient as well as oral exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds that persisted for 2 generations. Interestingly, male exposure alone could cause the increase in defects.


Chemical in macaroni and cheese tied to birth defects, says study.  Fox News July 15, 2017.

This report harks back to earlier studies linking phthalate exposure to hypospadias in boys.  Phthalates were found in all 29/30  tested cheese products.  No mention of concertation or dose was mentioned.


Vitamin in Vegemite could cure birth defects. Sky News August 10, 2017.

A slightly overblown account of interesting recent study from the Victor Change Institute which showed that mice with a genetic mutation resulting in NAD deficiency have malformations. Supplementation with vitamin B3 (found in Vegemite), reduced the number of malformations.

Quick round-up of new related items that have appeared in newspapers and magazines.

Page updated 6 October 2017

Previous ….

Nicotine replacement therapy safer than smoking when pregnant, researchers find

ABC 4 Dec 2017

The references article is actually a narrative review not new data.


North korea’s nuclear tests are causing birth defects and destroying the environment: report

Newsweek 7 Nov 2017

Defectors claim that 80 percent of trees planted near the nuclear test site die, that underground wells have been evaporated and that babies in the region are born with birth defects at alarming rates.

Does an A.D.H.D. Link Mean Tylenol Is Unsafe in Pregnancy? NYTimes Dec 4, 2017

For women who used acetaminophen but only for less than seven days, the risk of A.D.H.D. actually went down — something else that the researchers cannot explain.

All this does not actually prove cause and effect. “Maybe those who used it for a very long time had more severe fever or more severe pain than those who didn’t use it,” Dr. Ystrom said. “That is the alternative explanation, that these mothers who used it for a long time, they had a more severe type of condition.”

“What we found was that regardless of the reason they used acetaminophen, those who reported long-term exposure — 29 consecutive days or more — had a more than twofold risk of A.D.H.D.”

Global Warming Might Be Especially Dangerous for Pregnant Women The Atlantic Nov 21, 2017

Scientists are concerned that heat waves could be linked to more premature births and stillbirths.