Tainted Marine Base Tap Water Linked to Birth Defects
A study published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed suspicions that tainted water at a North Carolina Marine Corps base is linked to an increased risk of serious birth defects and childhood cancers.
About the Marine Base Study
Tuesday, The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry publish a long awaited study dealing with concerns of elevated birth defects and childhood cancers recorded at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
According to FOX News, military officials have continued to release public statements downplaying the risks associated with the contaminated water since it was first reported nearly three decades ago. The wells containing the tainted water were eventually closed.
In order to determine what effects the tainted water had on newborns, the study surveyed the parents of more than 12,598 children who were born at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985.
Researchers used a method which is similar to that used to investigate disease outbreaks, when officials attempt to identify possible reasons for an illness.
Findings of the Tainted Water Study
Upon reviewing data gathered during the study, researchers were able to conclude that:
- Mothers who drank the tainted water were four times more likely to give birth to children with serious birth defects such as spinal bifida than woman who lived off-base.
- Children born to these mothers also ran an elevated risk of being diagnosed with childhood hematopoietic cancers.
While researchers were not able to determine a chemical cause and effect for the complications, they were astounded that the study showed such a substantial increase.
The study did not observe the effects of the tainted water on adults, though more than 80 men linked to Lejeune have developed an extremely rare form of breast cancer.
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