A baby is born with a birth defect every four and a half minutes which affects 1 in 33 babies every year and they account for 20% of infant mortality rates. A child born with a birth defect can be heartbreaking for parents and while some defects are minor and can be easily treated, others are quite severe causing permanent disabilities or even death. There have been numerous studies done to figure out the causes of birth defects and ways to prevent them, however they continue to be a prevalent issue in our society today.
The majority of birth defects develop during the crucial early stages of pregnancy, when the baby’s organs are beginning to form. There are many factors that can Camp Lejeune Lawsuit contribute to the development of a birth defect such as genes passed down from parents, our environmental surroundings and a mother’s behavior during pregnancy. While we are unable to control how our bodies pass down genes, we absolutely can take steps to control our environmental surroundings as well as discontinuing risky behavior during pregnancy.
One potential and noteworthy source of environmental concern can be found in our drinking water. Just last month a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was released, which confirmed that chemical contaminates in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, was the source of increased birth defects such as spina bifida and childhood cancers including leukemia. The water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE) and vinyl chloride. The source of these contaminates is believed to come from leaking underground storage tanks, industrial spills and an off-base dry cleaning firm.
The base in North Carolina is not the only instance of contaminated drinking water leading to birth defects and cancer however. In July last year, an extensive study confirmed another long-suspected link between nitrate contaminated water and birth defects such as spina bifida, cleft palate and missing limbs in Iowa, Texas and the San Joaquin Valley of California.