Who is most sensitive to TCE?

TCE in the blood stream can cross the placenta and enter the developing baby. The TCE levels in the developing baby will be about the same level as that in the mother. The most vulnerable period for TCE to affect a baby’s heart development is between weeks 2 to 8 of pregnancy—which is very early in pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s exposure to TCE during these weeks can increase the chance of having an infant born with a birth defect of the heart. Not all babies exposed to TCE during pregnancy will be born with a birth defect of the heart. Even in studies of workers exposed to TCE, the chance that exposure during pregnancy might result in a baby with a birth defect of the heart was extremely low.

Page last reviewed: December 29, 2015