New fears over health impacts of landfills

UK scientists find small excess in birth defects in populations living close to waste dumps

British politicians and environmental groups today called for urgent action to reduce waste landfilling and increase recycling following release of an epidemiological study showing an excess of birth defects in populations living close to landfills.

Commissioned by the government, the study compares the rate of several congenital abnormalities and the prevelance of stillbirths and low and very low birthweights for individuals living within 2 kilometres of landfill sites with those beyond 2km. The former group accounts for 80% of the UK population.

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