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Birth defects more common near waste sites

MagazineMay 2002 (Vol. 13 Issue 2)Birth defects more common near waste sites

If you live within 3 km of any one of a number of European landfill sites, you're more likely to produce a child with chromosomal abnormalities

If you live within 3 km of any one of a number of European landfill sites, you're more likely to produce a child with chromosomal abnormalities.

In a study carried out by EUROHAZCON, which included analyses of 245 cases of chromosomal abnormalities and 2412 controls who lived near 23 hazardous-waste landfill sites, the scientists noted a higher risk of such abnormalities among those living closer to the sites compared with those who lived further away (3-7 km).

These findings support earlier research by EUROHAZCON, which found that the risk of chromosomal abnormalities increased near landfill sites containing plastic chemicals such as styrene.

What is now needed are more studies into how these chemicals cause birth defects (Lancet, 2002; 359: 320-2).


Why children are at higher risk

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