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The aetiology of congenital abnormalities is a complex, multifactorial event: the majority of congenital abnormalities are not considered to arise from chemical or other environmental exposures. Even with an exposure to a chemical of concern, many other factors may influence the development of an abnormality; such as the timing of the exposure in the pregnancy, the genotype of the unborn child and mother or maternal health and dietary status. These and other factors are discussed in the report.