Vol. 3, No. 4,1997 Page 3


Scientists report evidence that infants born to mothers living near landfills are at high risk of prematurity and low birth weight-both risk factors for learning disabilities and criminality.

Michael Berry and Frank Bove studied residents who lived near the seriously polluted Lipari landfill in New Jersey. The researchers found that from 1970 to 1975, during the heaviest run-off of toxins from the dump, low birth weights (under 5.5 pounds) occurred more than five times as often in the area within one kilometer of the landfill as they did in neighboring communities. In addition, infants born nearest the landfill had twice the risk of being born preterm.


"Birth weight reduction associated with residence near a hazardous waste landfill," Michael Berry and Frank Bove, Environmental Health Perspectives, August 1997, pp. 856-861. Address: Michael Berry, New Jersey Dept. of Health, Trenton, NY 08625-0360.

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