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Birth defects in Kettleman City have no common cause, investigators say

November 22, 2010 |  1:57 pm

A state investigation did not find a common underlying cause for recent birth defects, including heart problems and cleft palates and lips, in Kettleman City, a Central California farming community of about 1,500 mostly Spanish-speaking residents, according to a long-awaited report released Monday.

"While we wish there was an explanation for what caused the birth defects experienced by the children we studied in Kettleman City," said California Department of Public Health Director Mark Horton, "our investigation finds that no common health or environmental factor links the cases."

State health investigators tested air, water and soil throughout the region and studied family histories to determine why at least five of 20 babies born between September 2007 and November 2009 in Kettleman City suffered birth defects.

Read more at The Times' Greenspace environmental news blog

Related:

Infant deaths, cleft palates raise concern about toxic landfill in San Joaquin Valley

Sen. Dianne Feinstein seeks moratorium on expansion of toxic-waste landfill in Kettleman City

-- Louis Sahagun

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