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Small For Gestational Age Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

Currently, the US has over 1,300 Superfund sites - hazardous waste sites included on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priority List for cleanup. Since numerous Superfund sites are military bases and installations, women who resided on a military base during the first three months of pregnancy had a greater risk of having a low-birth-weight baby, according to study results.

Chemicals strongly associated with lower birth weight include:

  • benzene
  • trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • vinyl chloride
  • perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
  • heavy metals (e.g., aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury)

Small for gestational age is a medical condition where babies are born with a lower weight and length than expected - less than the 10th percentile for gestational age. Simply put, the baby is smaller than expected because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb.

If you gave birth to a baby who was small for gestational age as a result of being stationed at one of the following military bases, you are eligible for compensation, which our team can help you recover:

Researchers Found Significant Associations Between Early Pregnancy Exposure to PFAS Compounds and Small For Gestational Age

Beginning in the 1960s, the researchers at the US Naval Research Laboratory, in cooperation with the 3M Company, began investigating the use of synthetic chemicals, specifically perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which have been used in firefighting foams as a more effective means of suppressing high-hazard, difficult-to-fight Class B fires arising from petroleum products or flammable liquids or gases such as oil, gasoline, jet fuel, and other types of fuel.

Aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) combines fluorocarbon, hydrocarbon surfactants, and various solvents, preservatives, and stabilizers. These key components reduce water tension surface, allowing the foam to form an aqueous film on the surface of the hydrocarbon fuel that:

  • suppresses vapors
  • deprives the fuel surface of oxygen
  • prevents re-ignition of the fuel by suppressing the formation of flammable vapors

During the 1970s, the Department of Defense began using AFFF to fight fuel fires at all military installations. By the late 1970s, the AFFF fire suppressant was the go-to option in the military and used at 90+ airports in the US alone. It was also becoming a favorite tool of oil refineries and many civilian fire departments across the nation.

Persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in animals and humans, and toxic at low levels, PFAS substances are associated with severe health problems, including low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, and cancer.

Quality Legal Assistance for Mothers Who Were Exposed to Toxic Chemicals on Military Bases

Unfortunately, birth weight less than the 10th percentile for gestational age may cause many health complications and conditions for newborns. For example, underdeveloped babies may have irregular blood cell counts, less developed immune systems and are therefore more susceptible to infections and breathing problems because their lungs are not fully matured.

In addition, intrauterine growth restriction can affect their health since small children who have this condition, as adults, will deal with health problems, such as obesity, renal diseases, and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders.

If you worked in the military and gave birth to a baby whose weight was below the 10th percentile and you lived at one of the military bases contaminated with PFAS during your pregnancy, you could file a claim against the foam manufacturer if you are a veteran.

Let our team of case managers review your specific situation and discuss whether you may be entitled to pursue a claim. If your claim is valid, our firm will offer legal services on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t have to pay any legal fee unless we secure money for you through a legal claim.

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