BROOKLYN - A new study found pregnant women in Brooklyn have high levels of a common preservative that may impact fetal development.

The study conducted at SUNY Downstate Medical Center focused on preservatives called parabens, which are found in everyday beauty products like lotions, makeup and some hair products.

Dr. Laura Geer found high levels of parabens in expectant African-American and Caribbean women served by SUNY Downstate's prenatal clinic  She also found high levels in their babies' umbilical cords.

The findings were published in the journal Environment International.

Even though the FDA says parabens used in beauty products are safe, Geer says studies have shown otherwise.

"We're looking for the scientific community to provide more information as to whether there are detrimental effects on humans because some animal studies have suggested that parabens can cause disruption to fetal development that could lead to developmental and reproductive disorders," she says.

Geer says more research needs to be done, and she is now looking at possible effects on births.  Information about the effects should be available in the coming months.