On the agenda: Pregnant women warned of chemical risks

Pregnant women should be wary of the risks to foetuses from chemicals in cosmetics and food packaging, according to research published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), which has been heavily criticised.

Pregnancy research: Heavily criticised (credit: Thinkstock)
Pregnancy research: Heavily criticised (credit: Thinkstock)

In more detail

The paper, written by Dr Michelle Bellingham and Professor Richard Sharpe, suggests there is insufficient information about chemical risks to foetuses, and recommends a ‘safety first’ attitude to tinned food, ready meals, sun screen and shower gel.

It states that pregnant women are exposed to a complex list of low-level chemicals in food and cosmetics packaging, household cleaning products and non-stick frying pans, which in pregnancy may pose minimal risk to a developing baby.

It has met with criticism from various medical and toxicology professionals that it is scaremongering.

PR strategy

The RCOG press team goes through the papers due to be published with the Scientific Advisory Committee each week to determine which research will be most newsworthy.

In the case of Bellingham and Sharpe’s paper, the information was written up into a press release and sent out to the relevant journalists under a two-day embargo. The authors were made available for interview and officers from RCOG are also earmarked to answer further inquiries.

Media coverage

The story has been covered widely by the media, running across TV and radio on the BBC, while gaining coverage in the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Independent and the Daily Mail on the first day of publication. 

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home for the day after being told by the judge earlier this afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Conservative-leaning public affairs experts have questioned the value of Labour's adoption of US-style campaigning tactics in the wake of the opposition hiring election strategist David Axelrod.

PLMR appoints Professor Tim Morris as non-executive director

The vet who helped establish the British Horseracing Authority's anti-doping and animal welfare programme has joined PLMR as a non-executive director.