Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) such as Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are ubiquitous in our environment and a growing body of research indicates that EDCs may adversely affect human development. Fetal development is particularly susceptible to EDC exposure, and prenatal care providers are being asked to educate women about the risks of exposure. To inform prenatal education on EDCs, the authors examined how women perceive risks during pregnancy and translate that perception into behavior, using the Health Belief Model as a guiding framework. Because EDCs may not be discussed during prenatal care, examination of general risk perception and motivation for behaviors was used to inform surveys and interviews focused on EDCs. The results of this investigation suggest that education about EDCs needs to be detailed and comprehensive about potential health outcomes in order for women to conduct their own risk assessment.
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