Letter: Birth-defect spike

April 24, 2014 

In response to recent news that the number of babies born in three Washington counties with anencephaly, a fatal birth defect, was still higher than national rate in 2013.

I am a 17-year-old Richland High School student, and I found this article quite interesting, primarily because of the location of our city.

The first thought that comes to my mind would be that these defects have something to do with the Hanford nuclear site. But the fact of the matter is that radiation is not the only thing that can cause birth defects. Many other things, such as exposure to some pesticides and even the environment, can contribute to birth defects.

I believe that no one should jump to any immediate conclusions in this matter. We should take a step back and explore all of the possibilities equally to ensure a better chance of finding the real problem and potentially saving someone's child in the future.

KENDAL RIDGEWAY, Richland

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