Teratogens And Their Effects on human health



Introduction. 1

Teratogens and their Effects. 1

By Wendy Chung. 1

The Effects of Teratogens on the Health of Developing Human Beings. 2

Teratogens and Prenatal Development 3




This paper reviews three articles concerning the effects of teratogens on the developing human being. Essentially, the paper will discuss the effects of teratogens on the embryo, infant, as well as, later on in life. Three teratogens, alcohol, nicotine, and the drug streptomycin will be used as examples in support of the paper’s hypothesis.


Teratogens and their Effects

By Wendy Chung

This article examines the various effects of teratogens on human development and growth from childbirth. Specifically, the article discusses the effects of teratogens on the embryo during pregnancy. In the beginning of the article, the author tries to identify some of the common causes of malformation in children, and highlights, genetics, environmental factors, and multifactorial agents as the reasons behind malformation in children (Chung 3). The author then goes on to focus on teratogens, which are most commonly environmental, are the causes of malformation in children. According to the author, the effects of teratogens are mostly felt during the first two weeks of gestation. He explains that teratogenic substances may have adverse effects on the embryo ranging from malformation to the death of the embryo. For example, nicotine decreases uterine blood flow, which in turn decreases the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the embryo (Chung 8). This can cause severe mental retardation or result in embryonic death. Alcohol, on the other hand, has been identified as one of the main causes of malformation in children as it causes prenatal and postnatal growth deficiencies (Chung 8). The author explains that the effects of teratogens differ according to the teratogenic agent. Accordingly, most embryos end up being spontaneously aborted as a result of teratogenic agents, with those surviving developing as malformed children.


The Effects of Teratogens on the Health of Developing Human Beings

By Basil Nwoke

Drawing on the same ideas brought out in the first article, this article examines the effects of teratogens on human beings. However, unlike the first article, this article primarily examines the effects of teratogens on the developing child during infantry and later on in life. Using two teratogenic cases, the author illustrates how teratogenic agents can be disastrous to the normal growth and development of children and young adults. The author begins by providing a definition of teratogens, which he describes as any agents that cause abnormalities in human growth and development (Nwoke 1). The author examines a number of teratogenic agents that have been associated with the deterrence of growth and development, providing the effects of each both during pregnancy, after birth and later on in life. The author explains that prenatal effects are mostly physical and can easily be identified such as the fetal alcohol syndrome where growth retardation is revealed. The postnatal effects, on the other hand, tend to be more psychological than they are physical with most affected children revealing inability for proper mental development later on in their lives. Conclusively, the author provides recommendation for the problem, stating that pregnant women should stay away from drugs and any other substances during pregnancy (Nwoke 8). In addition to this, the author recommends that pregnant women go for medical examinations so as to ensure the safety of their unborn babies.


Teratogens and Prenatal Development

By Educators Hub

This article examines the effects of teratogens on prenatal development while touching on some of the effects on the later developmental stages of children after birth. The author begins by explaining how the nine months of pregnancy are largely influenced by genetic and external factors, which determine how children will grow and develop into adulthood (Educators Hub 1). The author explains that these influences greatly determine how the child will behave and perform as a human being after birth and later on in life. Accordingly, the article explains that there are various reasons why the growth and development of children may be affected with the most common reason behind this being teratogenic agents. Just like the other two articles, this article argues that teratogens have adverse effects on the growth and development of human beings before birth and after birth. Characteristically, the article provides a list of teratogens and their diverse effects on human growth and development. More specifically, the article draws attention to the abuse of alcohol and the use of the drug, streptomycin, during pregnancy as an illustration of some of the effects of teratogens on human growth and development. In relation to alcohol abuse, the article explains that alcohol can lead to the development of fetal alcohol syndrome, whose physical characteristics can be identified at the later stages of life. The author explains that at the embryonic stage, alcohol abuse causes growth retardation, whereas, at the later stages of development, physical abnormalities such as learning disabilities and memory deficits are examined (Educators Hub 1). The use of the streptomycin has also been highlighted as one of the causes of physical abnormalities in children. As the article explains streptomycin causes deafness in children, which in turn, causes a communication barrier that affects learning in children (Educators Hub 1). Conclusively, the author explains that acknowledging the effects of teratogens in human beings is necessary for the learning process, as it allows educators to understand these children better.



Work Cited

Chung, Wendy. Teratogens and their Effects. columbia.edu 2 August 2005. Web. 27 October


Educators Hub. Teratogens and Prenatal Development. ppdictionary.com 12 February 2010.

Web. 27 October 2011.

Nwoke, Basil. The Effects of Teratogens on the Health of Developing Human Beings.

crisanet.org 25 July 2008. Web. 27 October 2011.


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