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Maternal exposure to solvents at Camp Lejeune increases the risk of neural tube defects

The neural tube forms the early brain and spine, and neural tube defects occur when it does not close properly. These birth defects develop early during pregnancy before a woman knows she is pregnant. Two of the most common neural tube defects are spina bifida, a spinal cord defect, and anencephaly, a brain defect.

Some of the factors that can increase a baby's risk of having a neural tube defect are not enough folic acid before and during the first three months of pregnancy, the use of certain medicines, such as those for epilepsy, and maternal diabetes. Nevertheless, toxic exposure can also result in neural tube defects, which is the case for many children born to Camp Lejeune parents who drank toxic water at the military base during the last century.

Up to 70% of neural tube defects can be prevented if the mother supplements her diet with folic acid, as insufficient folic acid is one of the primary causes of neural tube defects. However, even if the pregnant woman has enough folic acid, her risk of giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect remains high if she was exposed to industrial solvents. These are the most common neural tube defects:

  • spina bifida
  • anencephaly
  • encephalocele
  • lipomyelomeningocele
  • tethered cord
  • lipomeningocele

According to a study from Occupational and Environmental Medicine, exposure to industrial solvents throughout pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of neural tube defects, particularly spina bifida. More specifically, exposure to chlorinated solvents, which were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, is linked to increased odds of neural tube defects. Some of these solvents are trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene. Furthermore, another study from Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that both paternal and maternal exposure to organic solvents increases the risk of having a child with anencephaly. Because some organic solvents are teratogenic, exposure to these chemicals can entail a higher risk of neural tube defects.

Finally, the researchers in a study from Environmental Health discovered that neural tube defects were associated with maternal residential exposures to several chlorinated solvents, most notably carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, ethyl chloride, trichloroethane, and 1,2,3-trichloropropane. Some of these solvents might have also been present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. If you are a Camp Lejeune veteran or a family member of one who has a child with a neural tube defect, do not hesitate to contact our team of experts, who can easily help you find out whether you can file a claim and obtain financial compensation on their behalf. We will carefully and thoroughly assess your case with minimal involvement from you.

Atraxia Law can efficiently help you file your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim

Our team of professionals has the necessary experience, resources, and knowledge to offer you the assistance you need if you spent time at Camp Lejeune and have a child with a neural tube defect. The only documents we will need to evaluate your case are your military records or proof of your stay at the military base and the medical records of your child. Eligible parents will be put in touch with a top-notch attorney to have their claims filed.