Testing of blood taken from umbilical cords of newborn babies are showing the presence of many toxic chemicals.
However, as noted in the article, this isn't new. The ecologist Sandra Steingraber had dug up tons of research on this in her book Having Faith about her pregnancy. As an ecologist she decided to study her pregnancy and the womb as an ecosystem.
The current study is covered here: Study Shows Toxic Chemicals in Newborns But Chemical Manufacturers Say It's Not an Indication of Health Risk (By Todd Zwillich, WebMD Medical News)
Ideally the womb protects the child through the birthing process. The womb contains a blood barrier where nutrients and stuff are passed from the mothers blood to the childs blood, and wastes are carried from the childs blood to the mothers. It was designed to keep the child from being poisined by bacteria or other hazardous stuff in the environment.
However the inventiveness of modern technology has created whole slews of chemicals which the body doesn't know (yet) how to recognize as a dangerous substance. Hence the protections built into the womb don't work, because the body isn't recognizing the danger. Hence these chemicals are making it across the blood barrier and traveling around the babies bodies as they are being formed. EEK!!!
In her book Sandra Steingraber decried the lack of across the board testing. She pointed to dozens of studies describing the problem. She pointed to the fact that many pregnancies involve advanced tests (e.g. amniocentisis) to which could be added screening tests for these industrial chemical pollutants.
The EWG study appears to be a first stab at this. They collected cord blood samples from a few hundred pregnancies, and screened each for hundreds of chemicals.
It can only be good to broaden this testing, because how else are we to learn the extent of the problem?