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Iraq Study Links U.S. Weaponry to Birth Defects, Guardian Says

Dec. 31 (Bloomberg) -- An abnormally high incidence of birth defects in Falluja, Iraq, way have been caused by weaponry used when U.S. forces assaulted the city six years ago, the Guardian reported, citing a study it’s reviewed.

The study, to be published next week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, was conducted by Dr. Samira Abdul Ghani, a pediatrician at Falluja general hospital, the newspaper said.

It covered 55 families with seriously deformed new-born babies between May and August; in May, of the 547 babies born, 15 percent had chronic deformities, the Guardian said. In the same period, 11 percent of babies were born at less than 30 weeks and 14 percent of fetuses spontaneously aborted, it added.

While the findings are likely to reinforce previous speculation that defects have been caused by depleted uranium ammunition, used in two battles in Falluja in 2004, the report acknowledges that many war residues may interfere with normal embryonic and fetal development, the Guardian said.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alan Purkiss at apurkiss@bloomberg.net

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