According to a new research study, researchers have reported that babies exposed to high level of cadmium in womb are at higher risk to develop asthma and allergies in childhood. It is evident that Cadmium is harmful to human health and its application is constrained in the European Union, however it has wider application in batteries, as a coating for metals, and pigments.
Isabella Annesi-Maesano, research director at France's Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM) stated, “Cadmium is a type of heavy metal. We know that people can be exposed to heavy metals through food, water and air, and even very small amounts can have damaging effects on our health. We wanted to investigate the levels of certain heavy metals that babies are being exposed to in the womb and to understand any impact this could have on their development and future health.”
In this research study, researchers involved 706 women and their respective offspring who were supervised in maternity units. Moreover, researchers assessed the amount of three different heavy metals including cadmium, lead, and manganese in the women's blood during pregnancy and blood from their children's umbilical cords after delivery. Furthermore, researchers had follow up with the children until they were 8 years of age and noted whether any of them developed asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, or food allergies. Researchers also considered accounted factors such as children's family medical history and smoking history of parents that influence these conditions.
Later, researchers observed that high levels of cadmium found in babies' umbilical cord blood were associated with high risk of asthma of around 24% and food allergies by around 44%. Researchers concluded that further studies are required to understand the association of heavy metals in the womb and children's health in the longer period.