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Paternal Exposure to Toxins Affects Fetal and Post Natal Development of Offspring

by Kamal Salar

Scientists have been conducting researches for a long time and now they have come up with sound evidences that the paternal exposure could be making serious impacts on the fetal and post-natal development of the offspring. It is more likely that such imprints will also be reflected in subsequent future generations as well.Until now the maternal exposure to several of the dangerous toxic agents during the period of pregnancy were the prime concerns for experts, scientists, and society at large.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’ sponsored a multidisciplinary symposium recently. This symposium was focused on the concept of “Father and Fetus”. Scientists in this symposium presented many evidences that the reproductive success and post-natal development processes could be severely affected by the male-mediated influences and this may continue from one generation to another.

Evidences supported by the results obtained from certain specific animal and epidemiological studies demonstrate that paternal exposure to the various types of potentially harmful and hazardous toxins can severely affect the development process of fetus. Such negative impacts could also bring selected but wide spectrum defects and deficits in the offspring’s and there is a strong possibility that such impacts would also be reflected in the future generations as well.

Dr. Gladys Friedler, an emeritus Professor of Psychology at the Boston University School of Medicine highlighted the issue with much concern for all. Organizing a session in the symposium, he specified an urgent need of increasing the awareness levels of everyone about the “significant effect of the male parent in reproductive success and postnatal developments as well as to stimulate research on male-mediated effects”, he says.

Dr. Gladys Friedler, a pioneer researcher, presented a complete review of the researches and studies conducted in this regard and highlighted that all of them indicate clearly that the exposure to the toxins in the form of both the recreational and therapeutic drugs is equally dangerous for a male. Similarly, the exposures at the workplaces and other types of exposure are equally risky in case males as all this could potentially affect and alter the reproductive outcomes.

There are certain impacts on the offspring outcome that have been very specifically reported. Such instances include problems like low birth weight. Growth in childhood cancer cases, Problems related to overall development, behavioral disorders, typical endocrine abnormalities, and some specific cross- generational impacts. Dr. Gladys Friedler is quite hopeful that further research would help in solving these puzzled and complex issues that are directly related to the future generations.

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