The word teratogenic is derived from the Greek teratos, meaning monster, and genesis, to be born or produced. A teratogenic agent is the one capable of causing birth defects following exposure during pregnancy. Substances with teratogenic qualities include drugs, environmental agents, infections, toxins and nutrients. The probability of a malformation being produced depends on the dose of the agent, the stage at which the embryo is exposed and the genotype of the embryo and the mother.
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