The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "birth defects" ...

  • Reliving Agent Orange

    Four decades after the Vietnam War, scientists are still learning how exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange has harmed veterans and their children. This report showed that the Department of Veterans Affairs has hesitated to compensate sick veterans, instead weighing political and financial costs in secret. To bolster their position, they found that government officials have routinely turned to a known skeptic of Agent Orange’s deadly effects – a scientist who has also been paid by the chemical makers. And they obtained internal VA data on hundreds of thousands of vets and conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis, producing new evidence suggesting a connection between Agent Orange and birth defects that experts say should force the government to take action.
  • Agent Orange: A Lethal Legacy

    This investigation reveals the high costs and consequences of herbicides, such as Agent Orange, used by the US military during the Vietnam War. Not only are the veterans suffering from the consequences of herbicides, but also the children of these veterans. These children suffer from multiple cancers, birth defects, and other conditions. The conditions have increased the financial compensation for the US veterans and their families. Furthermore, the US government has neglected to discover the impact of these herbicides on health and environmental conditions.
  • Is Radiation Killing Our Troops?

    "'The Department of Defense uses depleted uranium for armor on tanks and for munitions to penetrate armor on enemy vehicles.'" says DoD medical expert Dr. Michael Kilpatrick. But the use of depleted uranium may be radiating our troops and civilians in Iraq, when "fine dust carrying depleted uranium gets in the lungs and into the lymph system, causing illnesses, includding cancer and birth defects in the children of those exposed." Other possible methods of exposure include ingestion through food or drinking water, and skin contact through open wounds or from embedded shrapnel. (Daytona Beach, FL) News-Journal staffwriter Audrey Parente follows the story of Dustin Brim, who died of cancer after his tour of duty in Iraq. Article has great graphic explaining depleted uranium armor and munitions.
  • Pregnancy Warning

    This investigation looked into problems associated with Cytotec, a stomach ulcer drug that is sometimes used during labor and delivery. But, the drug is not approved for use on pregnant women, and its use sometimes leads to birth defects.
  • 362 Million Pounds of Trouble

    Analysis shows that about one-quarter of the state of Ohio's waste in 1989 included toxic chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer and birth defects. That's the equivalent of seven and a half pounds for every man, woman, and child in the state. Steel Mills are among the state's biggest generators of toxic waste. Ohio's industries generated 362 million pounds of toxic waste, a figure that should rank Ohio as one of the most polluted states in the nation.
  • "Clean Rooms"

    This investigative report looks at several medical abnormalities affecting "chip-makers" and "drive-makers" working in IBM "clean rooms." In IBM labs across the country, workers were unknowingly being exposed to carcinogens such as KTI 820, Methylene Chloride, and glycol ethers. As a result many workers later discovered that they had a range of different types of cancer- breast cancer, brain cancer, and testicular cancer. In one case of one 10-person work group, eight people were diagnosed with cancer- six died. The workers were unaware that the chemicals they were using were known to cause different types of cancer and even birth defects. One woman was specifically told that she could work in the "clean room" while pregnant. Her child was born with rare disease called Retinoblastoma, which is a rare eye cancer found in only 1 of 15,000 children. IBM refused to comment on the situation, and responded to one worker's complaint, "regrettably, cancer is one of the most common causes of death in American adults."
  • IBM - Poisoned Workers?

    NBC News Today reports on IBM workers' lawsuits against the company. Almost 200 former and current employes at the East Fishkill IBM plant have accused the computer giant of an unsafe workplace. The story reveals that the company did nothing to protect the employes from breathing and handling chemicals that were known to be dangerous since the mid-80s. IBM did heed the government warnings about the chemicals 10 years later. Meanwhile, many IBM employees became sick and died of various cancers, or had children with severe birth defects, the NBC reports.
  • Kids at Risk

    This investigation finds that substances in the environment can harm the human brain. The story reveals how polychlorinated biphenyls and mercury in many cases have had devastating effect on children's development throughout the country. A major finding is that protection against such chemicals is still underdeveloped, because the Environmental Protection Agency does not require chemical manufacturers to provide data on possible neurological effects.
  • Battling for Benefits

    "Women have formally served in the United States armed forces for nearly a century, beginning with the creation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901. But women are only now winning a long battle for veteran's health care services that has at times seemed as formidable as the conflicts they faced in two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf." Due to recent legislation over the last ten years, health care for female veterans has greatly improved. Female veterans now may receive monthly compensation payments for loss of a breast for reasons related to military service and benefits for children born with birth defects. However, "the VA recognizes that more improvements are needed . . . including providing greater privacy in hospital facilities and better inpatient psychiatric care for women." In addition, "veterans groups point to other ways in the VA could more effectively help women: developing better programs for those women veterans who are homeless; paying more attention to the specific health care needs of women; and giving the special women veterans' coordinators more time to do their job." Reporter Karen Lee Scrivo reports more on these issues.
  • Marine Corps Toxic Water

    "For nearly twenty years, the US Marine Corps knew thousands of Marines and their families had been exposed to toxic drinking water at a North Carolina training base. But most Marines were never told about their exposure to the toxins - until a Wisconsin woman called Fox 6 News." WITI-TV investigated the leak toxic chemicals into the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC, that may have resulted in the contamination of nearly 200,000 Marines. The chemicals that leaked into the water supply at Camp Lejeune have been known to cause cancer, as well as birth defects, and may have affected more people than the Corps first realized.