US Weapons Caused Birth Defects in Fallujah

Study finds link to weapons like depleted uranium
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2012 4:06 PM CST
US Weapons Caused Birth Defects in Fallujah
An Iraqi woman carries her son in front of an US Marines Abrams tank in Fallujah.   (Getty Images)

US weapons likely caused a horrifying spike in birth defects among the people of Fallujah, according to doctors and a recent study of hair samples. Evidence has long connected American weapons like white phosphorous and depleted uranium to birth defects in the Iraqi city, which suffered devastating US attacks in 2004. But now a study of hair samples of parents with deformed children has detected uranium, a dangerous substance known to cause cancer, Al Jazeera reports.

The numbers are staggering: a 12-fold rise in children's cancer in Fallujah since 2004; a birth defect rate of 14.7%, which dwarfs the rate of 1% to 2% after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. Specific birth defects in Fallujah include elongated heads, overgrown limbs, and a baby with an eye in the middle of its face. "Why is the government not investigating this?" asked the grandfather of one deformed child. "Western media seem interested, but neither our local media nor the government are. Why not?" (More Fallujah stories.)

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