Birth Defects and the Environment
Although some research on how environmental hazards might cause birth defects has been done, much more work is needed to understand the relationship between the environment and birth defects. Doctors and public health scientists know how some birth defects happen and in some cases can make recommendations to help prevent them. But the causes of many other birth defects are unclear. Most birth defects likely happen for many reasons, not just one reason and one possible reason is the environment.
Sharing data about when and where birth defects happen will help scientists understand whether these defects might be related to the environment. Gaining this understanding is one of the main reasons why birth defects are part of the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network.