Essay about Effects Of Exposure On Human Development

725 Words Aug 31st, 2016 3 Pages
As a future health professional, understanding the impact of teratogens on human development is an important aspect of clinical practice. For this assignment, I will explore the effects of exposure to alcohol and tobacco of these teratogens on development of the head between weeks three and twelve of gestation. The reason I am choosing alcohol and tobacco as my topic because I noticed that drinking and smoking are the major concerns in New Zealand.
According to Pilitteri (2003), teratogen is defined as any agent, substance or environmental factors which can cause abnormalities when a developing embryo is exposed to it during pregnancy. Bellinger (2005) points out that there are billions of potential teratogens and it can be found at anywhere, such as home or workplace. For example, teratogen can be tobacco, alcohol, medications, infectious agents, chemicals or even radiation can cause abnormal foetal development (Bellinger, 2005). A study by Meyers (1983) shows that teratogen can cause serious congenital malformation or a birth defect in a child. In a recent report, New Zealand Birth Defects Registry (2014) states that there were 85.2 in 1,000 babies with birth defects in New Zealand in 2014. The report also said that the most common defect in New Zealand is congenital heart disease which affects 12.42 in 1,000 babies. Meanwhile, the estimate incidence of cleft lip and/or palate is 1.01 per 1,000 babies (New Zealand Birth Defects Registry, 2014).
It is evident that there…

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