Several studies indicate that maternal benzene exposure can lead to an increased risk of unborn babies developing spina bifida, one of several types of neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs occur while a fetus is developing inside a mother’s womb, resulting after the baby’s neural tube fails to completely close. Both spina bifida (the incomplete formation of a spinal column) and anencephaly (incomplete skull and brain formation) are common NTDs.
Evidence Linking Maternal Benzene Exposure and NTD’s
One study conducted on data provided from 1999 to 2004 included information from just over 1,000 infants—newborns, stillborns, and electively terminated fetuses having NTDs—compared with a control group of just over 4,000 unaffected infants. The study looked at issues such as ambient air levels of benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene and the listed residential addresses of the mothers at the time of giving birth. According to the study, those mothers who lived in areas with the highest levels of estimated benzene exposure were 2.3 times more likely to have children born with spina bifida.
Another study, this one using information gathered from 1996 and 2009, took a look at the incidence of birth defects that occurred in 125,000 births in certain Colorado towns. This study was specifically concerned with how close to natural gas wells that the mothers were reported to live. Results published from the study indicate that mothers who lived in the areas with the highest density of such wells—over 125 wells per mile—had a more than twice as high rate of developing NTDs as those who lived with no wells for a 10-mile radius. Further, infants born in the areas with the highest density of wells also had a 38 percent higher chance to develop congenital heart defects compared with those living near no wells.
Experienced Benzene Exposure Attorney
Parents whose children have been born with NTDs do not have to feel powerless. The law offers parents the chance to seek financial restitution in civil courts This can give a family the right to obtain resources needed to provide for their children when their NTDs have been caused by the negligence of another party. If you or a loved one have been affected by NTD’s contact us at 888-586-7041.