“Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford

Published: July 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 pm ET
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Title: Washington State Health Officials Stumped by High Rate of Birth Defects
Source: ABC News with Diane Sawyer
Author: Gillian Mohney
Date: July 18, 2013

A high rate of birth defects has confounded Washington health officials, who have been unable to identify a cause.

The Hanford nuclear site is located near Richland, WA, between Benton and Franklin counties (White Arrow)

A report released Tuesday by the Washington State Department of Health said that, since 2010, the neighboring counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin have an unusually high number pregnancies affected by the [neural tube] birth defect anencephaly, which results in a newborns’ brains being severely underdeveloped.

In the U.S., there are approximately one or two expected cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 annual births [...] the health department found that there was an abnormally high number of cases reported from January 2010 to January 2013 with approximately eight cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 births. [...]

In addition to looking at supplemental folic health, the department also looked for variations in other risk factors, including family history, pre-pregnancy weight and whether or not the mothers drank water from a private or public source. [...]

“There’s one region in the state (that’s had a spike),” said [Donn Moyer, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health]. “It could be complete coincidence” [...]

Dr. Joanne Stone, director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, said anencephaly can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors and that the increase in cases is worrisome. [...]

“Could it be a fluke? We don’t know. It could take time to uncover some sort of (unusual) exposure.”

U.S. Department of Energy: Two studies of birth defects in Benton and Franklin Counties were published in 1988. [...] Results showed a statistically significant association between preconception exposure of the parents to ionizing radiation and neural tube defects in their infants.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission: Twelve specific malformations were analyzed for evidence of association with parental employment at Hanford and with occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. [...] Neural tube defects showed a significant association with parental pre-conception exposure [...]

Centers for Disease Control: The authors examined the prevalence of congenital malformations among births in Benton and Franklin counties, in southeastern Washington State, from 1968 through 1980. [...] Among defects that would be expected to be comparably ascertained, a statistically significant elevated rate of neural tube defects was observed (1.72 per 1,000 births vs. 0.99 per 1,000). [...] When rates of neural tube defects were compared with those in populations other than the Birth Defects Monitoring Program, the Benton and Franklin county rates were still considered to be elevated.

Watch a recent local TV report on the birth defects here

Published: July 22nd, 2013 at 12:27 pm ET
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23 comments to “Worrisome” spike in deadly birth defects around leaking U.S. nuclear site — Officials claim “it could be a complete coincidence” — No news reports mention it’s by the most contaminated area in Western Hemisphere #Hanford

  • Sol Man

    It makes sense that, in all probability, the way in which one lives their life will affect the way they leave this life.


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  • dosdos dosdos

    "With respect to exposure to low-level ionizing radiation of employees of a nuclear power plant [...] a statistically significant association was only seen for neural tube defects…"

    What about Down's Syndrome? That is the most common birth defect among children of parents who work at nuclear sites, and the rate is <i>far</i> above average.


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  • Proton

    Hanford really is the giant stinky elephant in the living room…

    Wish I could sit watching Wheel of Fortune eating my TV dinner WITHOUT smelling that!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QlNe-tIXVM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUQHopfPwfFjn37JgO1l-axg


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    • nedlifromvermont

      "Worrisome?" … only if you do not want more anencephalyitc kids around …

      "Statistically significant" does not matter to those born without a brain … which I would contend includes all proponents of this completely unnecessary technology.

      Nobel prize people in Stockholm are complicit, too, in foisting this planet-poisoning technology on all life forms. They kept the rat race going to find a use for uranium, when it should have been left in the ground. And still no apologies from the hard-hearted nuclearists.

      Guess there is no Nobel prize issued for saying, "I'm sorry."

      Einstein knew what he'd had a hand in promoting, when the industrial nuclearists turned their backs on him and Oppenheimer; and he left us with the cryptic comment, "If I'd only known … I would have chosen to be a watch maker …" (paraphrased)

      The irony is devastatingly poignant … but this type of emotion is largely lost on pro-nuclear scientist-idiots …

      They have no taste for poetry … or for anything, for that matter, that does not come out of a reactor …

      Oh well, Sparky, now you're dead, too. See you in a jiff.

      peace folks ….


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  • AntonButler

    The University of Nijmegen study is a review of a few published works, and they state that little data is available on the link between birth defects and the occupation of the parents.
    The conclusions of the University of Nijmegen , Netherlands are incorrect since they are based on a few documents , with sparse data, and they have deliberately omitted Chernobyl. Their conclusions are simply a mirror image of lack of full data .
    The University of Nijmegen do not consider WHY there is such a lack of data.
    They also do not even consider the enormous Chernobyl evidence of a strong link. There are 30,000,now(not in 1993) scientific documents on Chernobyl medical problems. Why NOT?
    The Netherlands, University of Nijmegen paper is OBSOLETE.


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  • domjox domjox

    DEATHS of people is worrisome? WTF! If we dont protect our children and legacy then ALL IS FOR NAUGHT! Wake the F… Up!


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  • We Not They Finally

    What bastards! They can't even admit this much? And who MADE them reveal it at all?


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  • We Not They Finally

    Looking at the accompanying studies above, this has been known for DECADES. "Coincidence" NOT!! This also seems to be the same TYPE of birth defect amongst the births, so it is likely caused by some specific radionuclide and OF COURSE they would know which one!


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  • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

    Hanford, the most radiation contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere, spiking birth defects in the region, just a coincidence?? Really? I would laugh but this is not funny. It is long known that Radiation exposure dumbs down the species, it does not have the darwinian type of mutation effect, just genetic mutations… and what are the defects of concern? unusually high number of pregnancies affected by the [neural tube] birth defect anencephaly, which results in a newborns’ brains being severely underdeveloped. Well, that occurs to be 1 + 1 = 2, so not sure how they can call it a coincidence? Surely it is related to all the damn nuclear waste leaking in the area over the last decades, and especially the last few years. We know it is in the Columbia river, Uranium contamination of just one area (area 300)of the reservation impacting drinking water details here: http://www.pnl.gov/main/publications/external/technical_reports/PNNL-17034.pdf more than 200 square miles of groundwater are contaminated leaking into surrounding rivers and other horrific details, including the practice of burying radioactive stuff in cardboard boxes and the still current policy of disposing of some things directly into the ground here: http://ananuclear.org/Portals/0/documents/water%20report/waterreporthanford.pdf


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  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    These people "Washington health officials" actually collect a check working for a government entity?

    These people "Washington health officials" actually went to school and were supposedly educated in the field of health care?

    Time to "fire" all of these supposed "Washington health officials" and get some people who know what is really going on…the sooner the better!

    If Americans were any dumber they would be a rock…


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  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Birth defects, diabetes, leukemia, and thyroid cancer is caused by radiation.


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  • yogda yogda

    "A high rate of birth defects has confounded Washington health officials"

    I stopped reading after seeing the word "confounded".


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  • natano natano

    Oh Golly G! You mean the "liberal" media isn't all over this breaking story?!! What a shock to think that those tie die wearing pot smoking tree hugging liberals who own the media say nary a peep about this mega disaster. Who owns NBC? oh darn, GE, the same company that sent 100 lawyers over to Japan on 3/12/11 instead of technicians, to limit the liability of their know flawed weak head bolted Mark1 "containment" vessels. As long as this rediculous mantra of the "liberal" media is repeated, we are doomed. That's how they get away with it. Imagine if Rupert Murdoch suddenly developed a sense of empathy and vision and decided to turn over his entire media empire to the people at ENENEWS – don'tchya think we'd see some impressive coverage then? That's precisely how complicated it is.


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  • natano natano

    Oh Golly G! You mean the "liberal" media isn't all over this breaking story?!! What a shock to think that those tie die wearing pot smoking tree hugging liberals who own the media say nary a peep about this mega disaster. Who owns NBC? oh darn, GE, the same company that sent 100 lawyers over to Japan on 3/12/11 instead of technicians, to limit the liability of their known flawed weak head bolted Mark1 "containment" vessels. As long as this rediculous mantra of the "liberal" media is repeated, we are doomed. That's how they get away with it. Imagine if Rupert Murdoch suddenly developed a sense of empathy and vision and decided to turn over his entire media empire to the people at ENENEWS – don'tchya think we'd see some impressive coverage then? That's precisely how complicated it is.


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  • Time Is Short Time Is Short

    I notice there is a blackout on Infant Mortality rates across the US shortly after 3/11, when the data was spiking something awful.

    When do we get that data?

    Just enough data leaked about one small, tiny area to make it look like .gov is on top of the infant health situation, while the rest of the country literally 'burns'.

    Hundreds of thousands of additional infant deaths were indicated to date by the increase of the numbers right after 3/11, before the blackout.


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  • Jebus

    Just the fact that the possibility that this could be happening and no government entity is actively pursuing an answer to this, should make every mother in the NW scream, WTF are you doing to my child.

    The silence is deafening.
    The clock is ticking.
    The future is slipping away.


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  • Jebus

    I have to add that this makes a perfect cover story for the massive fallout that Fukushima rained upon the NW…


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    • Jebus

      Seems bizzare, doesn't it?

      No, it wasn't from Fukushima, that was in such miniscule amounts.

      We know it's from Hanford, and we know that it's been going on for fifty years.

      So, it's OK. There is no immediate harm…

      Nuclear Fools and not a dime to spare on facts…

      I'd say the Nuclear Industry is fighting for it's life.

      Why doesn't the public do that?

      Because there is no immediate threat.

      If Jack and Jill public only knew the facts.

      There would be an immediate threat…


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  • RichardPerry

    In the U.S., there are approximately one or two expected cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 annual births [...] the health department found that there was an abnormally high number of cases reported from January 2010 to January 2013 with approximately eight cases of anencephaly for every 10,000 births. [...]
    How can it be a fluke when over 3 years, in 1 year it is possible but over 3 years not likely.


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