Study on birth defects and childhood cancers
The current study is called Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Specific Birth Defects and Childhood Cancers, United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The study will try to determine if children born during 1968-1985 to mothers who were exposed to VOC-contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune at any time during the pregnancy were more likely to have one of the following specific health effects that were identified during the survey:
- Spina bifida
- Anencephaly (absence of all or a major part of the brain)
- Cleft lip
- Cleft palate
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
We have decided to include childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the study. This decision is based on suggestions made at the February 2005 expert panel meeting to explore opportunities for conducting additional human health studies of people who were previously exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Two groups of children will be studied. The "case" group has about 80 children with the specific health effects listed above. The "control" group has about 800 children and is a random sample of the children who did not have the specific health effects listed above. Parents of the case and control children will receive a letter asking them to take part in a phone interview. Interviews started in April 2005 and will continue to September 2005. Both parents are asked where they lived. Parents are also asked questions about other factors that could have affected the child's health. Each mother is also asked how much drinking water she used during her pregnancy.
The study will also include modeling of the water system to see which mothers did and did not receive the water with VOCs.