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Teratogen Essay

576 words - 2 pages


Teratogens are all around  pregnant women. Only look at the normal house hold toothpaste that states on the bottle, to seek medical attention if swallowed. Almost everyone has toothpaste in their home and uses it everyday but with all the chemicals, it is considered a teratogen if ingested. Teratogens affect embryo's development and counselors can help prevent exposure to teratogens.

Almost any man made substance could be considered a teratogen to some extent. However, the key question is at what level is a substance to be considered a teratogens because, to officially be classified as a teratogen it has to alter the embryo from an unnatural growth or lack of. From the Life Span text, it lists the most researched teratogens as alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, and marijuana (Broderick and Blewitt, 2010 pp.55). Each substance can cause severe birth defects, but an embryo are known to survive and live a healthy life even with the most researched teratogens.

Teratogens can harm an embryo from three weeks up to birth. The stage of development will determine how substitutable an embryo is to a teratogens. The stage of development determines what part that could be harmed. The central nervous system is at most risk during embryo growth, because the nervous system is the largest network in a human's body. The nervous system is likely to be subject to teratogens at week 3 to week 20. However, the nervous system could be subject to teratogens until birth. Each stage of development with the embryo constantly transforming the embryo is subject to teratogens largely at initial development of each major system. Teratogens could affect the heart development at three and half weeks to six and a half. Without a developed heart, an embryo...

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