Based on the analysis of birth weight and gestational age among residents of base family housing at Camp Lejeune, the following conclusions were made:

  1. No association was observed between MBW and SGA and exposure to PCE in the range of 80 to 200 ppb among infants born to mothers who were <35 years of age and had no history of fetal death.
  2. Decreased MBW and increased SGA in infants born to women aged 35 years were associated with exposure to PCE. Smaller decreases in MBW and increases in SGA were associated with exposure to PCE among infants born to women who had a history of fetal death. These findings were not anticipated and should be interpreted with caution. However, they are interesting because they have some biologic plausibility, and they require additional evaluation either at Camp Lejeune or in another PCE-exposed population.
  3. No association was found between MBW or SGA and exposure to 1 ppm TCE for 7-12 days. However, whether short-term TCE exposure might be associated with MBW or SGA at particularly critical times during pregnancy could not be evaluated.
  4. Strong associations were observed between long-term exposure to TCE in the range of 1 ppm and decreased MBW and increased SGA in male infants. No associations were observed for female infants for these study outcomes. These results should be interpreted cautiously because of the small sample size, which increases the likelihood that the association occurred by chance. In addition, an effect on males and not on females was not anticipated. Nonetheless, study of TCE exposure in a larger population of pregnant women is recommended.
  5. No exposure groups were significantly associated with preterm birth.



Nancy L.Sonnenfeld


The author acknowledges the hard work of the many persons who assisted with this project.

Analytical Sciences, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia

Linda Clark
Lu Ann Sykes
Janet Teague
Kim Truett

North Carolina Department of Environment, Health, and Natural Resources

Timothy Aldrich
Torrey McLean
Patricia Raper
The staff of the Department of Vital Statistics

Onslow Memorial Hospital, Jacksonville, NC

Del Murphy

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Irva Hertz-Picciotto

Department of Navy, US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Elizabeth Betz
Lin Brinn
Mary Ann Collins
Teresa A. Nogast
George Reynoulds

Department of Navy, Navy Environmental Health Center

Andrea Lunsford
Commander H. Gilbert Potter


Susan Board
Frank Bove
Jeanetta Churchill
Carole Hossom
Diane Jackson
Wendy E. Kaye

Figure 1.–Fetal death ratio per 100 live births by year of birth. (Figure not available).

Figure 2.–Birth weight following short-term exposure to TCE by time elapsed between exposure and birth. (Figure not available).

Figure 3.–Birth weight following short-term exposure to TCE by gestational age when exposure started. (Figure not available).

Page last reviewed: November 22, 2000