Families Exposed To Camp Lejeune Water At Risk For Birth Defects

Families Exposed To Camp Lejeune Water At Risk For Birth Defects

Remember this the next time you see a congress critter who "supports the troops" being feted by defense contractors, while the underpaid troops who have to use food stamps live in such hazardous conditions -- with their families:

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A long-awaited study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a link between tainted tap water at a U.S. Marine Corps base in North Carolina and increased risk of serious birth defects and childhood cancers.

The study released late Thursday by the CDC's Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry is based on a small sample size and cannot prove exposure to the chemicals caused individual illnesses. It surveyed the parents of 12,598 children born at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985, the year most contaminated drinking water wells were closed.

The study looked back in time and was designed to see if there was a link between exposure to certain chemicals and certain health problems that developed later. This type of study is often used to investigate disease outbreaks, when health officials are trying to identify possible reasons for the illnesses.

The study concludes that babies born to mothers who drank the tap water while pregnant were four times more likely than women in similar circumstances who did not consume the water to have such serious birth defects as spina bifida. Babies whose mothers were exposed also had a slightly elevated risk of such childhood cancers as leukemia, according to the results.

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