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Spike in Birth Defects in Kettleman Prompts EPA, State Health Probe


Kettleman, CA: A spike in birth defects and miscarriages that has occurred since 2007 in the California city of Kettleman will be investigated, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced this week.

Furthermore, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Pacific South West region has promised to visit the city to make enquiries, and ensure that regulations are being followed.

The city of Kettleman is located near Interstate 5, midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a key trucking corridor within California. Some people believe that diesel emissions from the trucks and pesticides used on agricultural crops grown nearby may be contributing to the spate of facial defects seen in the past few years.

However, the West's largest hazardous waste facility, operated by Waste Management, is also located nearby, and many residents believe that it may be the cause of their health problems.

According to media reports, both the EPA and California Department of Public Health will be conducting an investigation which will involve taking soil samples, reviewing medical records, and interviewing the residents of Kettleman City. The findings will be presented at a meeting on February 9th.

According to a report on MSNBC.com five of 20 children born in the town of 1500 between September 2007 and November 2008 were born with facial defects

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Published on Feb-1-10

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