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Neural Tube Defects Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

Military bases can be small outposts or military cities completed with hospitals, sewage treatment plants, shopping malls, schools, family housing, and administrative facilities.

Military installations and nearby communities across the nation are affected by groundwater contaminated with elevated levels of toxic chemicals.

Recently, concerns over the migration of volatile chemicals into groundwater and soil have grown. Therefore, vapor intrusion is now the underlying cause for many actions at cleanup sites across the Department of Defense.

The vast majority of military waste results from day-to-day operations and activities. For example, the solvents used to clean aircraft generally contain trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound that can turn into a vapor.

Cleaning an aircraft requires the use of large quantities of TCE, and the U.S. Air Force operates more than 2,500 aircraft, including 900 fighters.

Studies have found that chronic exposure to low levels of environmental chemicals during pregnancy is associated with a greater incidence of birth defects such as spina bifida.

Pregnant women who were stationed together with their husbands or by themselves at military bases may have been exposed to:

  • per-and polyfluorinated substances
  • acetone
  • benzene
  • 2-butanone
  • carbon tetrachloride
  • trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • chlordane
  • 1,1- dichloroethane
  • 1,2- dichloroethane
  • methylene chloride
  • polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)
  • tetrachloroethylene
  • toluene
  • trichloroethylene
  • vinyl chloride
  • halogenated hydrocarbons
  • trihalomethanes
  • xylene
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Prenatal Exposures to Environmental Chemicals Can Have Lasting Detrimental Impacts on the Lives of Children

Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord that develop very early during pregnancy. The neural tube is a primordial tissue structure type that develops during the third and fourth week of gestation and then closes, forming what will become the central nervous system.

When the neural tube doesn't close or develop properly, defects of vertebrae, brain, and spinal cord may result as a consequence.

Neural tube defects can result in permanent physical disability and require lifelong support and therapy.

The types of neural tube defects include:

  • spina bifida, which affects the spinal cord
  • anencephaly, which affects the brain and skull bones
  • encephalocele, which affects the brain

Studies found that pregnant women exposed to certain solvents were 13 times more likely to have a baby with a major malformation/birth defect.

Neural tube defects affect the development of a baby and can cause life-long complications of varying severity; for example, children with spina bifida may have paralyzed legs and problems controlling their bladder and bowel.

The following effects were seen in births to women exposed to drinking water contaminated with toxic compounds at military bases, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry:

  • prenatal PCE exposure was associated with a delayed pregnancy and an increased risk of congenital anomalies;
  • exposure to benzene while in the womb had been associated with low birth weight, increased risks of placental abruption, stillbirths stemming from placental dysfunction, and a greater incidence of birth defects such as spina bifida;
  • exposure to mercury, especially in high levels, can increase the likelihood of brain damage and hearing and vision problems in a developing baby.

We Assist Parents of Children with Neural Tube Defects Caused by Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

Finally, 1 in every 1,500 to 2,000 babies born in the U.S. has a neural tube defect. It is worth mentioning that about 90% of all babies born with these types of birth defects have no family history of ever having them.

If you served while you were pregnant on a contaminated military base and also gave birth to a child who suffers from spina bifida, anencephaly, or other neural tube birth defect, you are eligible for compensation.

Atraxia Law might help you recover the financial compensation you are entitled to from the liable companies if you were stationed at a military base contaminated with toxic chemicals.

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