Study Links Contaminated Water to Adverse Birth Outcomes

Posted in: Water Contamination, Water Health Effects
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Study links contaminated water to adverse birth outcomes

Article courtesy of Adelina Colbert – Adelina.colbert@JDNews.com | November 21, 2014 | JDNews | Shared as educational material

Pregnant women exposed to contaminated drinking water aboard Camp Lejeune might have experienced adverse birth outcomes, according to documents released this week.

A study released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on Friday revealed that women who were pregnant and exposed to the volatile organic compounds or VOCs, perchloroethylene or PCE, trichloroethylene or TCE, and benzene found in the drinking water on Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1965 had a higher risk of having adverse birth outcomes.

The aim of the study was to assess the link between residential prenatal exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985 and preterm birth, small for gestational age, term low birth weight and mean birth weight deficit. During the study, ATSDR used birth certificates to identify mothers living at Camp Lejeune at delivery and analyzed the entire pregnancy and individual trimesters.

The study showed that pregnant women who ingested or used the contaminated drinking water on base were more likely to have increased risk of pre-term birth or children with forms of fetal growth retardation. These birth outcomes have been formerly linked to the risk for negative health outcomes later in the child’s life.

The study is the most recent to be released by the ATSDR in its ongoing research on the effects of the toxic water found on Camp Lejeune and the installation’s population.

Conceived and born on Camp Lejeune, 40-year-old Christopher Orris said he believes his congenital heart disease he currently suffers from was caused by in-utero exposure of the contaminated water.

“I was conceived and exposed in-utero at Tarawa Terrace in 1974 at the height of the pollution,” said Orris. “My family has no history of congenital heart defect yet I was diagnosed with one.”

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