Common Questions About Pregnancy Safety

Are Insecticides a Threat?

So far there is little evidence that exposure to these chemicals at common levels significantly increases the risk to your fetus. All insecticides are poisons, however, and some studies have suggested that high levels of exposure to them might increase the chance of birth defects. If you must have your home or yard property treated:

  • Don't apply insecticides yourself. Local application of a liquid or powder where it's needed is safer than widespread spraying.
  • Clear away all food, dishes, and utensils from areas to be treated, including cabinets or drawers.
  • Stay out of the house while it's being treated and for at least several hours thereafter.
  • If insecticides are used outdoors, close all windows and turn off the air conditioning so that fumes won't be drawn into the house.
  • Wear rubber gloves when gardening to prevent skin contact with residues of insecticides or herbicides (weed killers) that have been used on your property.

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