Exposure to Toxic Fumes

Cynthia Flynn's picture


Dear Midwife,
My wife and I moved into a new house. While she was 11 weeks pregnant a worker came in to repair a crack in the foundation. After he was done she went down to the basement as he explained his work. She was probably down there for 5 to 10 minutes. Afterwards she called me to tell me that the entire house smelled of a strong odor. She left the house soon after and when I got home I opened all the windows to try and air out the house. There was still a slight smell for the next two days but we tried to keep airing out the house.

I researched what I could and found out that epoxy or urethane was used for the repair and is a "no zone" as one website called it for pregnant women (especially in the first trimester).

There is very little information out there on how much of a risk brief exposure is to a developing fetus. One site said brief exposure could be harmful.

Am I being paranoid?

Is there reason for concern?

Is there anything we could do about it at this stage anyways? She is now 20 weeks pregnant. Had her IPS at 12 weeks which came back fine and just had a 20 week ultra sound that we're waiting on results from.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thank you.


I'm sorry that I just don't know. I'd say if the 20-week ultrasound comes back normal to relax and figure you dodged a potential bullet. Enjoy your pregnancy!

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.