Horrible birth defects in Washington State – and elsewhere

According to a CNN report:

• Elizabeth Cohen, CNN senior medical correspondent: Yakima Valley, Washington, a horrible medical mystery has unfolded — An alarming rate of birth defects. Sara Barron, a nurse in the region and was the first to report cases of anencephaly, babies born with much of their brain and skull missing.

• Barron: “I was just stunned. 3 in a couple month period of time, that’s unheard of, and they’re such tragic, terrible outcomes.”

• Cohen: Barron’s shocking discovery prompted an investigation by the state health department, which showed that in 3 counties, in a 3 year period, there were 23 cases of anencephaly, a rate 4 times the national average.

Tri-City Herald, Feb. 27, 2014: A genetic counselor in Yakima said she’s reported [“8 or 9”] additional cases of anencephaly and spina bifida since January 2013.

According to the CDC:

Anencephaly happens if the upper part of the neural tube does not close all the way. This often results in a baby being born without the front part of the brain (forebrain) and the thinking and coordinating part of the brain (cerebrum). The remaining parts of the brain are often not covered by bone or skin.

Almost all babies born with anencephaly will die shortly after birth. CDC estimates that each year, about 1 in every 4,859 babies in the United States will be born with anencephaly.

A representative drawing from their webpage:


What’s the CDC’s take on what’s happening in Washington? According to Liberty Voice:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has refused to comment on on how many cases actually have occurred in 2013…

The CDC claims that there is “no secret” of why birth defects are on the rise; it is just a sad coincidence.

A coincidence? Are they perhaps following Japan’s lead? From Fukushima Diary:

The monitoring center of Yokohama city university hasn’t updated birth defect statistics on its database since 2011. The latest data is still the one of 2010.

According to an ENENews article from July 2013, there have been concerns about birth defects in this area of southeastern Washington State for many years. By coincidence, there’s an active nuclear power plant there:

A high rate of birth defects has confounded Washington health officials, who have been unable to identify a cause…

A report released Tuesday by the Washington State Department of Health said that, since 2010, the neighboring counties of Yakima, Benton and Franklin have an unusually high number pregnancies affected by the [neural tube] birth defect anencephaly…

U.S. Department of Energy: Two studies of birth defects in Benton and Franklin Counties were published in 1988. […] Results showed a statistically significant association between preconception exposure of the parents to ionizing radiation and neural tube defects in their infants.

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission: Twelve specific malformations were analyzed for evidence of association with parental employment at Hanford [the nuclear power plant] and with occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. […] Neural tube defects showed a significant association with parental pre-conception exposure […]

The CDC also studied the birth defects in Benton and Franklin counties from 1968 to 1980 and found the rate of neural tube defects to be elevated.

Here’s a map of the area, with an arrow pointing to the power plant, from ENENews:

Hanford nuclear site WA

If what’s happening in Washington isn’t terrible enough, a West Virginia boy had a brain tumor containing teeth. From the Chicago Tribune:

Doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital have removed a rare tumor that contained several fully grown teeth from a baby boy’s brain.

The tumor was found in the then-4-month-old from West Virginia in 2012 after a pediatrician noticed that his head was unusually large for his age.

The Chicago Tribune article has a photo of the tumor, if that’s of interest to anyone. And for the non-squeamish:

Teeth are more commonly found in another kind of tumor, teratomas. Doctors have found many bodily structures, including fingers and even partially formed humans, in teratomas because their cells have the ability to form any kind of cell type or organ system within the tumor mass…

“Already, researchers are harnessing stem cells from teratomas for good,” Rutka said. “There are stem cell lines derived from teratomas that are being grown into heart cells and muscle cells.”

What are we doing to the planet? We unleash pollutants that destroy humans and every other living thing and then we use the resultant monstrosities, such as teratomas, to fix the diseases we’ve caused? No wonder all creation is groaning.

UPDATE 3/4/2014: Several news outlets are reporting a large crack in a dam in this area of Washington. From Energy News:

Pressure caused a slight bowing in the dam that was first detected Feb. 24 by a staff member who noticed a curb on the road on top of the spillway was out of alignment. Engineers sent down divers who discovered the crack Thursday, 75-feet below the waterline. The crack extends all 65 feet across the monolith, which is 126 feet tall and 92 feet thick. Stredwick doesn’t think the crack extend all the way through the pier […] about 20 miles downriver is the Priest Rapids dam, near the Hanford nuclear reservation.

What a convenient way to eliminate evidence, if the area is contaminated. What a catastrophe, if the world ends up with another nuclear power plant destroyed by water and subsequently releasing its radioactive water into the Pacific.

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