Prevention is the ultimate goal for all diseases. Prevention depends on understanding causes—knowledge that can only come from research—so birth defects can be stopped before they occur.
Birth defects bridge two of the most important issues facing policymakers today: infant health and the environment. Because most exposures have not been well studied, the environment remains a source of public concern. Pesticides, air and water quality, chemicals at work or in the home…the public demands answers.
Research—collecting and analyzing data—is the key to answering these questions and preventing birth defects. By understanding causes, we can have an impact on:
|Women’s health. Study findings can be incorporated into clinical practice, targeting interventions for high-risk groups.|
|Education. Expectant parents can be warned of potentially hazardous exposures and reassured about those found to be safe.|
|Public policy. Once identified, harmful exposures can be regulated or removed, reducing the threat to public health.|
|Healthcare costs. Preventing birth defects will save taxpayers billions of dollars in treatment costs each year.|