On June 5, 2013 the U.K.Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) published a Scientific Impact Paper advising pregnant women to avoid potential chemical exposure from household items including food packaging. The college points to mixture toxicity and low dose effects as a particular concern arising from these exposures. It advises to use fresh food whenever possible as well as to reduce the consumption of food from food cans and plastic containers. While the report states that it is unlikely that any of the chemical exposures are truly harmful, women should “play it safe” and avoid these exposures. Other councils given in the document include not painting a baby’s room freshly, and avoiding non-stick frying pans and cleaning products.
The document is the first to advise pregnant women on chemical exposures from consumer items. Dr John Harrison, director of Public Health England’s Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards contested the RCOG’s advice and stated on the BBC that personal care products are unlikely to be a risk to public health.