Beckman Institute's Illinois Kids Development Study is a "prospective birth cohort study in which women are enrolled early in pregnancy and their children are followed from birth through middle childhood to investigate the impact of prenatal exposures to chemicals and other environmental factors on neurodevelopment."

Members of the cohort, along with participants in San Francisco, are part of a collaborative project between the University of Illinois and University of California, San Francisco that is utilizing a $13 million award from the National Institutes of Health Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes program to study how exposure to stress and chemicals during pregnancy affect birth outcomes and child development in more than 1000 children. 

In addition, some of the women from IKIDS participated in a just published national study that found a increased exposure to chemicals from pesticides and plastics may be harmful to development. Researchers found a way to detect dozens of chemical traces in a small, single sample of urine.

From Susan Schantz, co-author on the study and a Beckman researcher: "Now that we know this approach to measuring multiple chemicals all at once in a single small sample of urine is feasible, samples from several thousand additional ECHO women will be analyzed, allowing researchers to investigate the impact of prenatal exposure to these chemicals on child health and development."

You can read more about the research on Beckman's website.

Top photo from Beckman Institute Facebook page.