|Today's post is shared from michigandaily.com/|
Two experts in the field of Iraqi public health gave a lecture Wednesday night on the increase of birth defects in the war-torn nation.
Muhsin Al-Sabbak, a physician at Iraq’s Basra Maternity Hospital, and Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist who resides in Ann Arbor, presented a one-hour lecture centered on their research, which links the increase in congenital birth defects in Iraq over the last two decades to the use of U.S. and coalitions force weapons there.
Al-Sabbak referenced his study that found a 17-fold increase in children with birth defects between the years 1995 and 2003, a jump from 1.37 birth defects per 1,000 children to 23 per 1,000. By 2008, the number had increased to 48 per 1000, and in 2014 it was 37 per 1000.
Savabieasfahani attributed the spike to an increase in pollutants caused by U.S. weapons and the presence of military bases.
“The most important event that happened in these years was U.S. invasion and U.S. bombardments,” Savabieasfahani said. “As much as we don’t like to get into politics, pollution is a very political thing.”
Savabieasfahani said bombs, bullets and explosives increase the amount of toxic metal such as lead and mercury in the environment. She also said U.S. military bases often have “open air burn pits,” or pits in which they burn disregarded military waste, releasing dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere...
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