Friday, January 14, 2011

EPA says California toxic waste dump not responsible for birth defects

From The AP:

The Environmental Protection Agency said Jan. 13 that a study by the largest toxic waste dump in the West showed that its level of cancer-causing chemicals was too low to harm the health of a nearby community where a high number of babies have been born with serious birth defects.

Chemical Waste Management said its study showed instead that the level of PCBs surrounding the Kettleman Hills landfill in Central California was similar to contamination found in rural areas across the country, even in the remote wilderness. E.P.A. officials helped design and oversee the study.

Local families denounced the study, saying it would provide no comfort to mothers whose infants had died from heart murmurs and Down syndrome. Officials said the study was only one piece of information that the E.P.A. was considering before making a decision about an application for the landfill’s expansion.