What environmental factors may cause malformations in the developing embryo?

What causes malformation of an embryo?

Fetal malformations can be caused by chromosomal defects detectable by fetal karyotype and chromosomal microarray analysis, by sequence variants (mutations) in single genes or can be multifactorial in origin.

What environmental factors cause chromosomal abnormalities?

In the human population, it has been estimated that close to 70% of congenital defects are of uncertain or unknown cause; approximately 20% may be due to genetic factors such as mutations and chromosomal abnormalities, and 10% can be attributed to teratogenic environmental factors such as chemicals, therapeutic drugs, …

What are four environmental hazards that can affect a fetus?

These chemicals include commonly known hazards such as lead, mercury, and environmental tobacco smoke, as well as some pesticides, solvents, products containing chlorine, and other chemicals referred to as “persistent organic pollutants.” The fetus is particularly vulnerable to environmental chemicals that can disrupt …

What is malformation in pregnancy?

A birth defect, also called a ‘congenital anomaly’, ‘congenital malformation’, ‘congenital abnormality’ or ‘congenital disorder’ is any abnormality occurring before birth. Birth defects are usually detected during pregnancy, at birth or in early childhood. Birth defects can be major or minor.

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What is embryonic malformation?

Embryonic malformations can be a result of exposure toxic substances (pollution), lack of nutrients, physical restraint, genetic disorders, or infections and diseases. Such malformations can be classified according to severity and offspring survival outside the uterus.

What are these factors called and why is the embryo so susceptible to environmental influences?

Teratogens. A teratogen is any environmental substance or agent—biological, chemical, or physical—that can have a detrimental effect on a developing fetus. Exposure to teratogens during the prenatal stage can significantly raise the risk of birth defects.

What are environmental factors?

Environmental factors include temperature, food, pollutants, population density, sound, light, and parasites. The diversity of environmental stresses that have been shown to cause an increase in asymmetry is probably not exclusive; many other kinds of stress might provide similar effects.

What factors cause chromosomal abnormalities?

Chromosome abnormalities often happen due to one or more of these:

  • Errors during dividing of sex cells (meiosis)
  • Errors during dividing of other cells (mitosis)
  • Exposure to substances that cause birth defects (teratogens)

Which environmental hazards can result in fetal abnormality?


  • 2.1 Alcohol.
  • 2.2 Tobacco smoke.
  • 2.3 Mercury.
  • 2.4 Lead.
  • 2.5 Dioxin.
  • 2.6 Air pollution.
  • 2.7 Pesticides.
  • 2.8 Benzenes.

What are the other factors that affect the embryo and fetus?

The principal determinants of fetal growth are fetal genotype and in utero environment. Environmental factors include maternal and paternal genetics, maternal size, and the capacity of the placenta to provide nutrients to the fetus.

How environmental hazards might affect the unborn?

Exposure to these hazards during pregnancy may cause negative health effects for the mother and baby. The negative health effects that may be caused by exposure to these hazards include: miscarriage, still birth, delayed fetal growth, birth defects and increased risk for certain illnesses in the baby.

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