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ATSDR Study Suggests Women’s Exposures to Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune Might Be Associated with Adverse Birth Outcomes


Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

Friday, November 21, 2014

ATLANTA-- A study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry suggests that adverse birth outcomes might be associated with women’s exposure during pregnancy to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and benzene in drinking water at the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base.

Women who were pregnant and were exposed to the contaminated drinking water between 1968 and 1985 were more likely to have increased risk of pre-term birth or children with forms of fetal growth retardation, according to the study results. These birth outcomes have been previously found to increase the risk for negative health outcomes later in life.

The findings also apply to women who gave birth before 1968 if they were exposed to similar levels of VOCs-contaminated drinking water. The adverse birth outcomes varied by type of exposure:

  • Exposure to PCE in the contaminated water was associated with pre-term birth, that is, birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The strongest association was seen when women were exposed during the second trimester (fourth through sixth month of pregnancy).
  • Exposure to TCE in the water was associated with children born small for gestational age, term low birth weight, and reduced mean birth weight. The risk of having a child with term low birth weight grew with increasing levels of exposure to TCE during the second trimester.
  • Exposure to benzene also was associated with term low birth weight. The risk grew with increasing levels of exposure to benzene throughout the pregnancy.

The full report is available at: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/13/1/99/abstract

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, USA

 

ATSDR Study Finds Higher Risk of Some Causes of Death for Civilian Workers at Camp Lejeune
Release Date: Wednesday, August 13, 2014
ATLANTA- A study into the deaths of full-time civilian workers employed at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from 1973 to 1985 found that the workers faced health risks due to contaminated water. The study, released today by researchers at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, found that the workers were at an elevated risk to develop kidney cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer, rectal cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

ATSDR to hold information forum about Camp Lejeune activities
Release Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry will hold a public information forum about its ongoing activities at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on Wednesday, July 20 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

ATSDR launches health survey of Marine Corps personnel and civilians
Release Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) begins this week a health survey regarding diseases that may be associated with chemical exposures related to water at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Federal Health Agency Completes Analyses of Tarawa Terrace Drinking Water System at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Release Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concludes in its analyses of the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system, at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, that former Marines and their families who lived in Tarawa Terrace family housing units during the period November 1957 through February 1987, received drinking water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE).

ATSDR Releases Report of Water-Modeling Expert Panel, Camp Lejeune, NC
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The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) today released the report of an expert panel of independent scientists who evaluated ATSDR's computer models of past Camp Lejeune, N.C., water resources and drinking water distribution system.

Camp Lejeune water modeling review panel meets Mar. 28-29
Release Date: Thursday, March 17, 2005
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will convene a review panel to evaluate the agency's water modeling and field data gathering efforts at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The meeting will be held March 28 and 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be open to the public.

ATSDR To Convene Panel to Review Water Modeling for U.S. Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Release Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2005
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) will convene a review panel to evaluate the agency's water modeling and field data gathering efforts at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The meeting will be held March 28 and 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will be open to the public.

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