Rafed English

Is it safe to use fertilizer in my yard when I'm pregnant?

Expert Answers

Sara Riordan
genetic counselor

There's almost no information on how most kinds of chemicals used in the house or garden might affect your developing baby. While there's no data suggesting that any specific fertilizer causes birth defects, we just don't know whether using fertilizer is safe or unsafe.

If you garden, take a "better safe than sorry" approach: Minimize your exposure to chemical fertilizers as best you can. (There are natural options, such as compost, that you might consider exploring.) If you're handling fertilizer, use gloves and work in an open area to reduce inhalation of fumes and particles.

Gina Brown

If you're 100 percent sure that the fertilizer you're using is completely natural, you should be fine. To be on the safe side, though, use skin, eye, and respiratory protection when working with any commercial fertilizer, even if it's labeled "natural."

If you're not using a natural product, don't spread or spray the fertilizer yourself. In fact, find something else to do – away from the area – while someone else applies it for you. Afterward, you can work in the dirt using gloves, covering your skin completely, and wearing a mask.

These precautions will help you avoid being exposed to products in the fertilizer, including the pesticides that some commercial fertilizers contain. Some of these products may be linked to fetal abnormalities (such as chromosomal damage) or possibly lead to miscarriage. And, of course, these chemicals could be carcinogenic for you, too. The safest fertilizer is probably compost, which you can buy or make yourself.

Share this article

Comments 0

Your comment

Comment description