A consideration of teratogenic exposures includes not only an agent (chemical, radiation, biologic) but an exposure level and timing of exposure. There are criteria by which exposures are evaluated for a causal connection with an abnormal outcome. We here review some teratogenic exposures and discuss how they were initially described and confirmed. We have limited our discussion to some of the exposures for which a connection to structural malformations has been accepted in some quarters, and we indicate some exposures for which a causal association awaits confirmation. We recommend that counselors find a reliable and updatable source of information on exposures during pregnancy. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.