Chips off the Old Block: How a Father’s Preconception Exposures Might Affect the Health of His Children

Charles W. Schmidt
Environmental Health Perspectivess
February 2018

Scientists have long known that when it comes to harm from environmental exposures, the youngest children often face the greatest risk.1 Chemicals and pollutants that pass through a woman’s placenta into her fetus can interfere with the child’s normal development and cause health effects lasting into adulthood.2 Newer research is examining the role a woman’s prepregnancy exposures may have on the fetus. What has gotten far less attention, however, is how the biological consequences of a father’s environmental exposures before conception might affect his unborn children.

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