Exposure to PCE-contaminated water linked to birth defects

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Washington, Sept 24 (ANI): Expectant mothers exposed to drinking water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene or perchlorethylene (PCE) are likely to give birth to kids with congenital defects, according to a new study.

The study found an increased risk of oral clefts and neural tube defects in their children.

"The results suggest that the risk of certain congenital anomalies is increased among the offspring of women who were exposed to PCE-contaminated drinking water around the time of conception," said Ann Aschengrau, from Boston University School of Public Health.

The researchers studied the prevalence of birth defects in the children of women from 8 towns in Cape Cod who had been exposed to PCE during the period 1969-1983.

They found that there were 61 children with congenital anomalies among the 1,658 children with some prenatal PCE exposure and 95 children with congenital anomalies among 2,999 children with no prenatal PCE exposure.

"Because PCE remains a commonly used solvent and frequent contaminant of ground and drinking water supplies, it is important to understand its impact on the developing fetus," said Aschengrau.

The study is published in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health. (ANI)

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