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CDC says water at North Carolina Marine base linked to birth defects, childhood cancer

Associated Press • Dec 6, 2013 at 11:59 AM

RALEIGH, N.C. — A long-awaited study by the U.S. Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention confirms a link between tainted tap water

at a U.S. Marine Corps base in North Carolina and increased risk of

serious birth defects and childhood cancers.

The study released late Thursday by the CDC's Agency for Toxic

Substances & Disease Registry surveyed the parents of 12,598

children born at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985, the year

drinking-water wells contaminated with chemicals from a leaky fuel depot

and a dry cleaner were closed.

The study concludes that babies born to mothers who drank the tap

water while pregnant were four times more likely than normal to have

such serious birth defects as spinal bifida. Babies whose mothers were

exposed also had an elevated risk of such childhood cancers as leukemia.