3. Why does research on transgenerational impacts matter?

Further research on epigenetics and transgenerational impacts may shed light on several notable and concerning health trends. Researchers have raised the possibility that these impacts could be linked to an increase in infertility, developmental problems in children and pediatric cancers. Today, both American children and those in other countries are more often diagnosed with neurological and behavioral conditions than children of past generations. Experts say the changes observed today could be related to pollutant exposures during gestation, and even those before conception.

EWG offers guides to avoid exposures to known hazards, but we don’t yet know which chemicals might pose risks for transgenerational effects. In the meantime, to improve the health of all Americans and reduce the pervasive inequity in pollutant exposure, we must remove hazardous contaminants from air, water, food and consumer products. (On a personal level, old-fashioned advice such as eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercising is always good to follow.)