Sampling babies' hair, scientists confirmed that infants are exposed to crystal meth (methamphetamine) in the womb if their mothers use the drug.
Canadian researchers analysed hair samples from more than 8 000 people and found that 396 samples tested positive for crystal meth (tik), including 11 mother-and-baby pairs.
Levels of the drug in individual mother/infant pairs matched, which indicates that the drug is able to cross the placenta directly to a developing foetus, said the team from the University of Toronto. Foetal hair starts to grow at about 20 weeks.
The findings are published in the Foetal and Neonatal edition of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
May cause developmental problems
The precise effects of crystal meth on a foetus aren't fully known, but evidence to date suggests the drug may restrict foetal growth and cause developmental problems.
It is known that any type of drug abuse by a woman during pregnancy increases the risk of pregnancy complications and triples the likelihood of serious medical problems in their babies, the study authors said.
Their analysis of hair samples also revealed that crystal meth users are much more likely to use other drugs. The study found that 85 percent of the 396 samples that tested positive for crystal meth also tested positive for at least one other illegal drug, predominately cocaine. – (HealthDayNews)
Tik babies are underweight