Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cuban news media:

Birth defects epidemic in Fallujah


This article references the recent study showing an epidemic of birth defects in Fallujah.

It also mentions the Oregon National Guard soldiers who were exposed to hexavalent chromium generated by the U.S. occupation of the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Iraq. That exposure alone has been followed by a high increase in lung, stomach, brain, renal, bladder and bone cancers among the occupying soldiers.


Photo: "Los proyectiles de uranio empobrecido empleados en Iraq han dejado una estela nefasta de muerte y enfermedades."

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"El nuevo grito de Faluya"

"Estudios revelan las mutaciones genéticas entre los nacidos vivos en esa ciudad… pero de las secuelas del uranio empobrecido tampoco se salvan los victimarios de la guerra criminal contra Iraq"

by Juana Carrasco Martín
juana@juventudrebelde.cu

15 January 2011

At: http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/internacionales/2011-01-15/el-nuevo-grito-de-faluya/



EL llanto que no cesa… Varios años después de los bestiales asaltos estadounidenses de 2004, Faluya es «noticia». Están a punto de publicarse las conclusiones de un nuevo estudio científico en International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: las malformaciones natales, las enfermedades cancerosas, los padecimientos crónicos del tubo neural y las cardiopatías aumentaron luego de aquellos ataques que prácticamente destruyeron la ciudad de 350 000 habitantes (650 000 con sus tres áreas rurales colindantes).

Solo los nacimientos con defectos son casi 11 veces mayores que la tasa normal. Durante el mes de mayo, por ejemplo, el hospital general de esa ciudad vio nacer a 547 bebés y el 15 por ciento presentaban anormalidades mutantes. Tampoco corresponde a lo natural el balance de sexos, pues desde el comienzo de la invasión de Iraq en 2003, nacen 15 por ciento menos varones, dice otro estudio.

Uno de los autores de la investigación citados por el periódico británico The Guardian, el toxicólogo Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, ha dicho cautelosamente: «Nosotros sospechamos que la población está crónicamente expuesta a un agente ambiental. No sabemos cuál es ese factor ambiental, pero estamos haciendo más pruebas para encontrarlo».

Pero no son tan desconocidos algunos de los agentes causantes de la irregularidad que afecta principalmente a las embarazadas: hay «metales involucrados en la regulación de la estabilidad del genoma», añadía el científico y precisaba: «los metales son potencialmente buenos candidatos causantes de defectos de nacimiento».

Por supuesto, ahí están los proyectiles de uranio empobrecido (DU-depleted uranium) que se utilizaron en los dos grandes asaltos a la ciudad —uno en abril y el otro en noviembre de 2004—, las bombas de fósforo vivo y otros armamentos de componentes químicos o radiactivos incluso prohibidos por las convenciones internacionales. Se afirma que el DU permanece como contaminante del ambiente durante 4 500 millones de años.

Un grito eterno para Faluya que tuvo entonces otros daños evidentes contabilizados: 7 000 casas totalmente destruidas; 8 400 tiendas, clínicas y almacenes, entre otros inmuebles; 65 mezquitas y santuarios religiosos demolidos; 59 escuelas de todos los niveles de enseñanza; 13 edificios gubernamentales; dos subestaciones eléctricas, tres plantas purificadoras de agua, las dos estaciones de ferrocarril y graves daños al sistema de drenado de la ciudad y al puente occidental; ardieron cuatro bibliotecas y con ellas miles de libros y ancestrales manuscritos islámicos, y se sabe que fue intencional la destrucción en los bombardeos del histórico sitio de Saqlawia y el castillo Abu al-Abbas al-Safah.

¿Muertes? Por supuesto, para «neutralizar» a Faluya en abril de 2004, se conocen los nombres de 749 personas asesinadas. Una cifra parcial, porque esos son los identificados… No hay nombres de la multitud de civiles que perdieron la vida en la segunda arremetida, pero fueron aún más. También resultaron víctimas de las municiones químicas cien mil animales domésticos y salvajes.

Por supuesto, los agresores niegan su responsabilidad en los «daños colaterales» que ahora nacen, irreversibles y reproducibles, garantes de un dolor eterno.

Y saben muy bien que ya habían dejado esa semilla maligna cuando en 1991, durante la guerra de Bush, el padre, usaron criminalmente el uranio empobrecido en los bombardeos a Basora y otras ciudades, donde la reconocida científica Dra. Helen Caldicott, encontró que desde entonces los niños nacidos con malformaciones y cánceres eran siete veces más que lo habitual.

La verdad inconveniente


Como es indecorosa la realidad, se oculta en la medida de lo posible. Un activista de una organización no gubernamental que testimonió para la 15 sesión del Consejo de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas, Nahoko Takato, dijo: «Cuando visité Faluya en 2009, fue muy difícil obtener el permiso de entrar (a la ciudad). Está rodeada de puntos de control… Básicamente, solo quien tenga una identificación provista por el ejército norteamericano puede hacerlo.(…) Los ciudadanos de Ramadi pueden entrar a pie en Faluya, pero no en sus propios vehículos, porque necesitan un registro especial que es muy difícil de obtener… Quizá el ejército norteamericano tiene temor de que un internacional pueda colectar evidencia de la polución, de las trazas de uranio…».

No voy a hablar de castigo divino, porque de ser esto posible debieran ser otros quienes expíen la culpa. Sin embargo, los invasores-victimarios, los brazos ejecutores de los dueños poderosos del complejo militar-industrial-mediático, se están transformando también en víctimas de sus propios crímenes.

No aprenden sus propias lecciones, la de Vietnam, por ejemplo, donde el Agente Naranja, utilizado como defoliante para, entre otros objetivos, matar de hambre a un pueblo combatiente, dejó una estela nefasta de enfermedades cancerosas, malformaciones en los nacimientos y otros padecimientos, y todavía continúan sus efectos sobre el medio ambiente y la población vietnamita, pero también marcó a los soldados estadounidenses y su descendencia.

En noviembre pasado, el periódico The Oregonian publicó que en una demanda establecida por 32 soldados de la Guardia Nacional del estado de Oregón, se sugería que el consorcio Kellogg, Brown and Root —la KBR del entonces vicepresidente Dick Cheney— conocía, por pruebas médicas realizadas en el año 2003, que soldados estadounidenses habían sido expuestos al cromo hexavalente en Iraq, un cancerígeno utilizado en la planta Qarmat Ali de tratamiento del agua, administrada por KBR.

El cromo hexavalente estaba prohibido en Estados Unidos; sin embargo, en Iraq el viento llevaba el polvo naranja hasta los lugares donde estaban emplazados los soldados, aunque los trabajadores de la planta usaban máscaras antigases, pero KBR no dejó de utilizar el producto químico. Por supuesto, los aldeanos de la vecindad también lo absorbieron, pero esos no importan, y quién sabe cuándo se les revelará el problema y las circunstancias.

Sin embargo, no fueron solamente esos soldados de Oregón. Similares reclamaciones judiciales han sido interpuestas por militares de Indiana, Virginia Occidental y Gran Bretaña. Y lo que es peor, la mayoría de esa tropa no supo que había sido expuesta al corrosivo químico hasta cinco años después de su servicio en Iraq.

Y si vamos al uranio empobrecido, presente en los proyectiles disparados en Faluya y en general en todos los escenarios bélicos iraquíes, encontramos que el DU es parte del arsenal estadounidense y de sus naciones aliadas, a pesar de que contamina no solo el gen humano, sino todas las especies vivientes.

Ya desde la primera guerra del Golfo, miles de jóvenes quedaron envenenados, y el Pentágono le buscó dos nombres a las enfermedades de múltiples síntomas: PTSD (Trastorno de Stress Post-traumático) y GWS (Síndrome de la Guerra del Golfo); pero no reconocieron jamás que parte de su génesis podría estar en el uranio empobrecido y en otros componentes químicos del armamento utilizado, al que también estaban expuestos los soldados.

A 20 años de las Operaciones Escudo del Desierto y Tormenta del Desierto, comenzadas el 2 de agosto de 1990 por George Bush, padre, y cuando todavía continúa el infierno proseguido por George W. Bush, el hijo, se sabe que al menos un cuarto de los 697 000 hombres y mujeres que sirvieron en la Primera Guerra del Golfo (1990-1991) están contaminados con la «inexplicable» y crónica enfermedad.

Hablan de fatiga, dolores de cabeza, fibromialgia, insomnio o perturbaciones del sueño, falta de memoria, conducta irritable, anormal pérdida de peso, síntomas cardiovasculares, neurológicos y neuropsicológicos, desórdenes menstruales, problemas en la piel y respiratorios, así como mal funcionamiento gastrointestinal y dispepsia, además de tumores y leucemia.

La basura DU, 60 por ciento tan radioactiva como el uranio natural, químicamente tóxica y cerca de dos veces más densa que el plomo, dejada por el uranio empobrecido contenido en miles de proyectiles y en la armazón de cientos de tanques, se trasladó a suelo estadounidense.

Entre 315 y 350 toneladas de DU fueron utilizadas en la primera guerra del Golfo, y se estima que en la actual han empleado cinco veces más.

El resultado es siniestro y podría interpretarse como crimen y castigo para quienes llevan en el cañón de sus armas la vergüenza de aplicar a sangre y fuego la dominación mundial, con el propósito de que crezca el imperio de Estados Unidos y el bolsillo de los ricachones, los verdaderos malos que, por ahora, «duermen bien», mientras Faluya llora.

Las armas de uranio empobrecido


Hasta donde se conoce, la Armada de Estados Unidos comenzó a desarrollar las armas de uranio empobrecido en 1968. En 1973 se las dieron a Israel para que las empleara en la guerra de Yom Kippur contra las naciones árabes. La utilizaron también en la guerra de los Balcanes y, por supuesto, en el actual escenario bélico afgano.

Como las armas se prueban, también el DU está presente en polígonos estadounidenses como el de Fallon, en el estado de Nevada, y desde Puerto Rico hasta el Pacífico, por lo que se estima que 42 países o territorios están contaminados, y 29 naciones le han comprado armas DU al gran proveedor: Estados Unidos.

El profesor japonés, doctor K. Yagasaki, ha calculado que 800 toneladas de uranio empobrecido son equivalentes a 83 000 bombas del tamaño de la explotada por Estados Unidos sobre Nagasaki, y que Washington ha utilizado desde 1991 en sus guerras el equivalente a 400 000 bombas atómicas como la lanzada sobre esa ciudad japonesa.


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Portuguese newspaper:

"Birth defects are Epidemic in Fallujah"


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"Defeitos congénitos em Fallujah são epidemia

"Crime imperialista sem castigo

"Uma investigação recente mostra que o número de bebés com defeitos congénitos nascidos em Fallujah após o assalto das forças ocupantes dos EUA atinge níveis de epidemia."

13 January 2011

At: http://www.avante.pt/pt/1937/internacional/112169/






«O total de bebés com defeitos congénitos é quase 11 vezes superiores à norma»


De acordo com um estudo publicado pela Revista Internacional de Pesquisa Ambiental e de Saúde Pública, nos últimos seis anos o número de casos de recém-nascidos com cancros e tumores ósseos, problemas cardíacos e neurológicos aumentou de forma alarmante, fenómeno que pode estar relacionado com o tipo de armas e munições usadas durante o assalto norte-americano àquela cidade iraquiana.

Os investigadores apuraram que os defeitos congénitos são quase onze vezes superiores à norma, tendo atingido o valor mais elevado em meados do ano passado.

«Suspeitamos que a população está exposta a um agente nocivo presente no meio ambiente», considerou o cientista Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, sem, no entanto, ter precisado qual. «Precisamos recolher mais provas para o identificarmos», disse.

Segundo as informações divulgadas no Rebelion.org, apesar da prudência, os investigadores admitem como potencial contaminador o urânio empobrecido usado pelos EUA nos combates ocorridos entre Abril e Novembro de 2004, isto apesar de a Casa Branca negar terminantemente ter recorrido a tais munições.

O estudo dirigido pela doutora Samira Abdul Ghani, pediatra do Hospital Geral de Fallujah, baseia-se numa amostra de 55 famílias. Em Maio de 2010, a percentagem de crianças nascidas com defeitos congénitos atingiu 15 por cento; 11 por cento dos recém nascidos não superavam as 30 semanas, e 14 por cento das gestantes já haviam tido abortos espontâneos.

Importa ainda considerar o elevado número de mães que não se dirige aos hospitais para parir, não entrando, por isso, nesta estatística.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Ann Arbor toxicologist:

"Study shows high rate of Fallujah birth defects..."


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"Ann Arbor toxicologist: Study shows high rate of Fallujah birth defects, raises questions about whether U.S. war in Iraq is to blame"


By Juliana Keeping
AnnArbor.com Health/Environment Reporter
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A.

See the full article in AnnArbor.com,

January 12, 2011, at:

http://www.annarbor.com/health/ann-arbor-toxicologist-evidence-suggests-us-warfare-linked-to-severe-spike-in-falluja-birth-defects/



"Is the U.S. war in Iraq behind an increase of severe birth defects in Fallujah?

That's the question raised by new research co-authored by an Ann Arbor resident and published in the International Journal of Environmental Health.

“Lots of babies are dying in Fallujah,” said environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. “Those who don’t die have a grim future..."

"...In May, 2010, 15 percent of 547 babies born at the hospital had severe birth defects. “This is in contrast to 2 to 4 percent that is normal in human population,” Savabieasfahani said.



[End of excerpt]


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Monday, January 10, 2011

"...Epidemic of reproductive abnormalities has likely been caused by...the residues of munitions used by American armed forces on the city in 2004."






"New study from Ann Arbor toxicologist links Fallujah birth defects to U.S. weapons"

By Nick Meyer
ARAB AMERICAN NEWS (Dearborn, Michigan)
Saturday, January 8, 2011

At: http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Iraq&article=3793



A new study has shed light on the massive surge in post-war birth defects in Fallujah, Iraq, showing for the first time that an epidemic of reproductive abnormalities has likely been caused by the presence of metals in the environment, potentially from the residues of munitions used by American armed forces on the city in 2004.

A team of four researchers: environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani of Ann Arbor, Samira Alaani of Fallujah General Hospital, Mohammad Tafash of Al-Anbar University in Fallujah, and geneticist Paola Manduca of the University of Genoa in Italy, conducted the study, which has drawn international attention from outlets such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Al Jazeera, and The Guardian newspaper of London.

The results were recently published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and show a major rise in chronic, devastating birth defects of the neural, cardiac, and skeletal variety at a rate about 11 times higher than originally estimated.

A total of 547 births in Fallujah General Hospital showed that 15% of babies born in May had massive birth defects, compared to the world average of 2-3%, according to the study, and the rates rose sharply in the first half of 2010.

The study, which surveyed a total of 55 families with seriously deformed newborn babies in May through August through a questionnaire to delve deeper into the causes, shows that metals are potential sources of contamination causing the defects, especially in pregnant mothers within the city, and concludes that they "could be due to environmental contaminants which are known components of modern weaponry."

Washington has officially denied the claims of the study, however....


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More news:


* The recently published study on Fallujah birth defects: http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/8/1/89/pdf

* The BBC interview with Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani regarding the Falluajah birth defects epidemic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05KdoY7CKG4

* The Guardian article on the Fallujah birth defects epidemic: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/30/faulluja-birth-defects-iraq

* The Daily Telegraph article announcing the publication of the Fallujah study: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8234159/War-contamination-could-be-causing-deformities-in-Iraq.html


_____________________________________________________________________


Since December 30, 2010, there have been dozens of mass media articles on that Fallujah study.

Those articles have appeared in Europe, Australia, Canada, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Turkey, Pakistan, and India.



Monday, January 3, 2011

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Salem, Oregon (U.S.A.)


"Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq"

Jan-02-2011

Reprinted in Salem-News.com (Salem, Oregon; U.S.A.), at:
http://salem-news.com/articles/january022011/birth-defects-iraq.php


Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and fetal development.




(GENOA, Italy) - Since 2003, congenital malformations have increased to account for 15% of all births in Fallujah, Iraq. Congenital heart defects have the highest incidence, followed by neural tube defects. Similar birth defects were reported in other populations exposed to war contaminants.

While the causes of increased prevalence of birth defects are under investigation, we opted to release this communication to contribute to exploration of these issues.

By using a questionnaire, containing residential history and activities that may have led to exposure to war contaminants, retrospective reproductive history of four polygamous Fallujah families were documented. Our findings point to sporadic, untargeted events, with different phenotypes in each family and increased recurrence.

The prevalence of familial birth defects after 2003 highlights the relevance of epigenetic mechanisms and offers insights to focus research, with the aim of reducing further damage to people’s health.

1. Introduction

In Fallujah (Iraq), birth defects, with prevalence of congenital heart defects (CHD) and neural tube defects (NTD), have reached in 2010 unprecedented numbers, above the World average [1].

Lack of a comprehensive birth registry has made it difficult to make an accurate comparison with the pre war period and to understand modalities and dimension of this unusual occurrence in Fallujah.

We thus introduced a protocol allowing for reconstruction of the reproductive history of families with birth defects in Fallujah that allows to see the pattern of their presentation in time. We present here the analysis of four cases of fathers with two lineages of progeny, chosen among more than 50 cases under study.





Birth defects presented here are classified according to the primary defect as NTD (neural tube defects), CHD (cardiac birth defects), SK (skeletal defects), even when they have additional phenotypes, or O (others).

Modalities of presentation within each family suggest that epigenetic factors may be at the origin of the mechanisms responsible for these defects. The timing of the birth defect occurrences suggests that they may be related to war-associated long-term exposure to contamination. The epigenetic origin of many birth defects is extensively supported by the existing literature [2].

Neural tube defects are rarely due to traceable genomic changes. The high rate of recurrence of anencephaly in siblings (6.3%) is understood as due to environmental factors and maternal effects.

Studies of NTD in mice indicate that anencephaly may be due to multifactorial combinations of hypomorphs and low-penetrance heterozygotes. It is not known how many genes may contribute to anencephaly in humans.




Congenital heart defects have various phenotypes and can be compounded by different cardiacunrelated features. Approximately 30% of CHD and tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) have been shown to be associated with wide genomic rearrangements.

Only in a very small fraction of the cases investigated have cohort studies detected mutations in single genes which are putatively involved (e.g., Holt-Oram syndrome). Environmental factors are implied in the induction of most CHD phenotypes, through epigenetic mechanisms.


Images of Agent Orange and the Vietnam War

Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and fetal development. The devastating reproductive health effects of dioxins (the major contaminant of Agent Orange) on the Vietnamese people is well known. Data is also accumulating on increased rates of reproductive diseases in veterans of U.S. and U.K. wars during the last 20 years.

As environmental effectors, metals are potential good candidates to cause birth defects. Metals are also integral to modern ―augmented‖ and ―targeted‖ weapons [3]. Metals, which are toxicants at relatively low concentrations, are highly persistent in the environment and in the body of exposed individuals, where they accumulate.

Metals can disrupt events associated with embryo/fetal development and can act synergistically with other metals and/or with other environmental toxicants to induce phenotypic changes at the level of the cell, and to disrupt tissue homeostasis [4].

Many metals are weak mutagens but strong carcinogens, which implies that metals act more commonly at the epigenetic level leading to changes that are inherited by the progeny of cells.

The analysis of four cases of fathers with two lineages of progeny is presented here. In each case, we discuss what can be deduced from the family's reproductive history, from the phenotypes of their offspring and from the modality of birth defects' chronological occurrence.

We discuss the compatibility of occurrence of birth defects with the actions of potential effectors, with the demographic of the families, and with the exposure of the parents to war-related events. We have put our evaluation into the context of mechanisms of actions for teratogens. The timing of presentation of birth defects in these families shows that they mostly occurred after 2003.

2. Experimental Section

We developed an ad hoc questionnaire to collect the retrospective reproductive history of families that had come to Fallujah General Hospital for childbirth and treatment. Questions about history of residence, demographic characteristics and lifestyle habits of the parents, and activities that may have led to their exposure to war-contaminants, were included.

3. Results and Discussions

Data from four polygamous families are presented. Mothers were admitted to Fallujah General Hospital between April 2008 and May 2010 for childbirth. Figure 1 summarizes their reproductive histories and illustrates their offspring's birth defects. Parents’ siblings and their progeny (total n = 40) do not present birth defects or cancer. Figure 1 shows that birth defects occur sporadically with different phenotypes in a family and without obvious suggestion of known genetic contributions from the father or the mother. These represent a few families reported from a greater number of families with birth defects in Fallujah. In May 2010, over 15% of all deliveries (547) in Fallujah General Hospital presented birth defects.

During the same period, spontaneous abortions were 14% of assisted pregnancies, premature deliveries (<30 weeks of gestation) were 11%, and there was one stillbirth. These numbers are not significantly different in each of the months of 2010 (manuscript in preparation). Our historical reconstruction of the reproductive lives of these families shows that incidences of birth defects began in 2003 with one exception, namely the infant leukemia case. A composite of genetic and epigenetic factors is understood to cause infant leukemia. The same family also presented a sporadic case of unrelated birth defect, TOF. Table 1 summarizes demographic characteristics and lifestyle habits of the parents of the malformed children born in Fallujah General Hospital (Iraq), between April 2008 and May 2010.

Figure 1. Top panel-family reproductive history is graphically represented. Bottom panel-Photographic record of birth defects: (A) Male child diagnosed with very short webbed neck, rocker bottom feet, malformed thighs, and legs flexed at hips, knees and ankles, retracted penile skin-born full term, August 7, 2010—Family 107—daughter progeny. (B) Female child diagnosed with cleft palate, poly and sindactily of both feet and right hand and congenital heart defect-born at 42 weeks, October 1, 2009—Family 107. (C) Induced abortion (at 22 weeks) of a male fetus with anencephaly, May 31, 2010. (D) Female child, with ventricular septal defect (VDS), born at full term, April 28, 2010—Family 139. Patient consent for publication of the data was obtained from all concerned.






(Click on images to enlarge them)


The data shows that each was stably resident, in different areas of the town up to 2009–2010, none of the parents were directly wounded or trapped under rubble and that, among them, only the male parent in Family 1 reported acute symptoms immediately after bombings.

There is no obvious relationship to immediately adjacent bombing/burning of their houses or to the activity of cleaning/recovery of injured-dead people or to personal acute symptoms with them having a child with birth defect in the following years. This suggests that the birth defect in these families might not be due directly to acute exposure, but could be associated to their long term exposure and body accumulation of toxicants which are persistent in the environment.

More efficaciously than chromosomal mutations or than multiple single gene mutations, epigenetic changes (alone or associated with other genetic changes) can account for the patterns and diversity of malformation which we see in families 107, 139 and 1. Epigenetic effectors can produce simultaneously different damages and multiple phenotypes, which vary depending on the specific agent(s), and on the timing and level of exposure during embryonic life. This possibility, per se, would fit the data.

The novel presentation of sporadic and diverse birth defects, which can be caused uniquely or in composite fashion by epigenetic events, also suggest that agents capable of initiating these changes are still present in the environment and continue to induce novel effects. Teratogens in the postwar environment include metals and metal alloys which persist in the environment and in the body, and are potential risks to health (genotoxic, fetotoxic and epigenetic mechanisms of action).

Metals are involved in regulating genome stability, in X chromosome inactivation, in gene imprinting, and in reprogramming gene expression. They act as metalloestrogens, inhibit DNA repair, alter DNA methylation, change transcriptome and microRNAs production, histone acetylation and methylation; all of which can lead to birth defects, whether translated into mutations or not [4].

As a consequence of internal radiation, some metals can induce sporadic gene mutations or oxidative DNA damage. In the case of depleted uranium (DU) it is unclear whether its radiation-derived mutational effects or its chemical toxic effects are more relevant. DU can induce epigenetic changes that are associated with leukemia via hypomethylation of the DNA. Exposure to teratogens of either father or mothers are potentially effective to induce birth defects at the epigenetic as well as the genetic level.

In the cases we report here, the pattern of presentation does not exclude the contribution of either parent: the epigenetic changes are likely to behave as stochastic and not striclty deterministic events, and lack of effects in one of the two families branch with the same father cannot exclude his contribution to the occurrence of birth defects in the other family branch.

Nonetheless, pregnant mothers' exposure to metal contaminants is potentially more relevant to the development of malformations in the case of Family 107, where both wives had deformed babies, but with different phenotypes, and where the daughter of one of the mothers, who herself delivered a child with atrophic and ectopic kidney, had a child with multiple skeletal and dermal abnormalities. There are no known candidate mutations governing both kidney and skeletal/dermal development, and it is likely that independent exposure to effectors in the environment during both pregnancies induced diverse epigenetic effects in the developing offspring.

Prenatal exposure best explain, but also paternal exposure could account for, the cases in those families where only the progeny of one spouse presented birth defects which recurred in diverse phenotypes. Cases in point are the still births and ventricular septal defect (VDS) in Family 139 and multiple cases of child leukemia and TOF in Family

Continuing exposure to environmental effectors could also explain the unusually high frequency of recurrence of anencephaly and infant leukemia in a genetically-prone context (Family 123 and Family 1).

These phenotypes are indeed known to derive from concomitant genetic predisposition (possibly informing the maternal effect) and from epigenetic effects due to the external environment.

Frequent miscarriages in several women during the last years are also indicative of a general negative (teratogenic) load from the environment. Epidemiological evidence on birth defects which are caused by war contaminants is common in the literature. Hindin et al. offered a review of epidemiological studies on the teratogenicity of DU and concludes that human epidemiological evidence is consistent with increased risk of birth defects in the offspring of persons exposed to this war contaminant [5].

Studies in another war contaminant, Agent Orange, also find parental exposure to be associated with an increased risk of birth defects in the offspring [6].

The family history questionnaire which we developed filled serious gaps in a long history of inadequacies of the health system in Iraq. It has allowed us to begin interpretation of the facts. The strong indication of our data, that epigenetic mechanisms are at the root of the recurrence of birth defects in Fallujah, offers the hope to develop therapeutic interventions for severely affected families. Our findings can lead to a deeper understanding of the effects of war contaminants (including metalloestrogens), can help elucidate causes and mechanisms that have culminated in such high rates of birth defects in Fallujah, and can open the way to intervention, both regarding immediate counseling and in terms of therapeutic intervention.


Conclusions

We conclude that the high prevalence of birth defects in Fallujah is impairing the population’s health and its capacity to care for the surviving children. These defects could be due to environmental contaminants which are known components of modern weaponry. Investigations of metal contaminants, and elucidation of the types and body burden of metals, combined with simultaneous registry of the population’s reproductive history, will allow the identification of families at high risk and will facilitate therapeutic measures to remediate the damages.

Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to S. Allawi for her suggestions and problem solving, and to E. Burgio for critical reading of the manuscript. We further thank Blaine Coleman for technical support and language editing of this work. We also recognize ―Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalize War‖ for funding.


References

1. Romitti, P.A. Utility of family history reports of major birth defects as a public health strategy. Pediatrics 2007, 120, S71-S77.

2. Surani, M.A. Reprogramming of genome function through epigenetic inheritance. Nature 2001, 414, 122-128. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8

3. Skaik, S.; Abu-Shaban, N.; Barbieri, M.; Barbieri, M.; Giani, U.; Manduca, P. Metals detected by ICP/MS in wound tissue of war injuries without fragments in Gaza. BMC Int. Health Hum. Rights 2010, 10, 17.

4. Beyersmann, D.; Hartwig, A. Carcinogenic metal compounds: recent insight into molecular and cellular mechanisms. Arch. Toxicol. 2008, 82, 493-512.

5. Hindin, R.; Brugge, D.; Panikkar, B. Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: A review from an epidemiological perspective. Environ. Health 2005, 4, 17.

6. Ngo, A.; Taylor, R.; Roberts, C.; Nguyen, T. Association between Agent Orange and birth defects: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int. J. Epidemiol. 2006, 35, 1220-1230. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).


(From the top of the report)

Case Report

Four Polygamous Families with Congenital Birth Defects from Fallujah, Iraq

Samira Alaani 1, Mozhgan Savabieasfahani 2, Mohammad Tafash 1,3 and Paola Manduca 4,*


1 Fallujah General Hospital, Althubbadh District, Fallujah, 00964, Iraq; E-Mails: samiraalaani@hotmail.com (S.A.); m_tafash@yahoo.com (M.T.)

2 P.O. Box 7038; Ann Arbor, MI 48107, USA; E-Mail: bahar@umich.edu

3 Medical College, Al-Anbar University, Fallujah, 00964, Iraq

4 Laboratory of Genetics, DIBIO, University of Genoa, Genoa 16132, Italy

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: paolamanduca@gmail.com; Tel.: +39-10-2470145/+39-10-3538240/ +39-3472540531. Received: 27 October 2010; in revised form: 3 December 2010 / Accepted: 21 December 2010 / Published: 31 December 2010


______________________________________

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Hyderabad, India



"Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault"

Siasat Daily (Published in Urdu and English; Hyderabad, India)


Saturday, 1 January 2011

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/falluja-birth-defects-and-cancers-us-assault


A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.

The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja's genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.

"We suspect that the population is chronically exposed to an environmental agent," said one of the report's authors, environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. "We don't know what that environmental factor is, but we are doing more tests to find out."

The report identifies metals as potential contaminating agents afflicting the city – especially among pregnant mothers. "Metals are involved in regulating genome stability," it says. "As environmental effectors, metals are potentially good candidates to cause birth defects.

The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.

Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round – either from an assault rifle or artillery piece – bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.

The report acknowledges that other battlefield residues may also be responsible for the defects. "Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and foetal development," the report says. "The devastating effect of dioxins on the reproductive health of the Vietnamese people is well-known."

The latest Falluja study surveyed 55 families with seriously deformed newborns between May and August. It was conducted by Dr Samira Abdul Ghani, a paediatrician at Falluja general hospital. In May, 15% of the 547 babies born had serious birth defects.

In the same period, 11% of babies were born at less than 30 weeks and 14% of foetuses spontaneously aborted.

The researchers believe that the figures understate what they describe as an epidemic of abnormalities, because a large number of babies in Falluja are born at home with parents reluctant to seek help from authorities.

One case documented in the report is of a mother and her daughter who after the 2004 battles both gave birth to babies with severe malformations. The second wife of one of the fathers also had a severely deformed baby in 2009.

"It is important to understand that under normal conditions, the chances of such occurrences is virtually zero," said Savabieasfahani.

Iraq's government has built a new hospital in Fallujah, but the city's obstetricians have complained that they are still overwhelmed by the sheer number of serious defects. The US military has long denied that it is responsible for any contaminant left behind in the city, or elsewhere in Iraq, as it continues its steady departure from the country it has occupied for almost eight years.

It has said that Iraqis who want to file a complaint are welcome to do so. Several families interviewed by the Guardian in November 2009 said they had filed complaints but had not received replies.

The World Health Organisation is due to begin its research sometime next year. However, there are fears that an extensive survey may not be possible in the still volatile city that still experiences assassinations and bombings most weeks.

"An epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in Fallujah, Iraq," said Savabieasfahani. "This is a serious public health crisis that needs global attention. We need independent and unbiased research into the possible causes of this epidemic.

We invite scientists and organisations to get in touch with us so that we may gain the strength to address this large global public health issue."

City's spike in deformity rates
Birth-defect rates in Falluja have become increasingly alarming over the past two years. In the first half of 2010, the number of monthly cases of serious abnormalities rose to unprecedented levels. In Falluja general hospital, 15% of the 547 babies born in May had a chronic deformity, such as a neural tune defect – which affects the brain and lower limbs – cardiac, or skeletal abnormalities, or cancers.

No other city in Iraq has anywhere near the same levels of reported abnormalities. Falluja sees at least 11 times as many major defects in newborns than world averages, the research has shown.

The latest report, which will be published next week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, says Falluja has been infected by a chronic environmental contaminant. It focuses on depleted uranium, used in weaponry during two US assaults in 2004 as a possible cause of the contaminant.

Scientific studies have so far established no link between the rounds, which contain ionising radiation to burst through armour and are commonly used on the battlefield.

The study focuses on metals as a potential conduit for the contaminant. It suggests a bodily accumulation of toxins is causing serious and potentially irreversible damage to the city's population base, and calls for an urgent examination of metals in Falluja as well as a comprehensive examination of the city's recent reproductive history.


=========================================

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe:


"Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault"


Bulawayo 24 News (Zimbabwe)
31 December 2010

At: http://www.bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-international-byo-479-article-Research+links+rise+in+Falluja+birth+defects+and+cancers+to+US+assault+.html


A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.


The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.


The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja's genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.


"We suspect that the population is chronically exposed to an environmental agent," said one of the report's authors, environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. "We don't know what that environmental factor is, but we are doing more tests to find out."


The report identifies metals as potential contaminating agents afflicting the city – especially among pregnant mothers. "Metals are involved in regulating genome stability," it says. "As environmental effectors, metals are potentially good candidates to cause birth defects.


The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.


Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round – either from an assault rifle or artillery piece – bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.


The report acknowledges that other battlefield residues may also be responsible for the defects. "Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and foetal development," the report says. "The devastating effect of dioxins on the reproductive health of the Vietnamese people is well-known."


The latest Falluja study surveyed 55 families with seriously deformed newborns between May and August. It was conducted by Dr Samira Abdul Ghani, a paediatrician at Falluja general hospital. In May, 15% of the 547 babies born had serious birth defects. In the same period, 11% of babies were born at less than 30 weeks and 14% of foetuses spontaneously aborted.


The researchers believe that the figures understate what they describe as an epidemic of abnormalities, because a large number of babies in Falluja are born at home with parents reluctant to seek help from authorities.


One case documented in the report is of a mother and her daughter who after the 2004 battles both gave birth to babies with severe malformations. The second wife of one of the fathers also had a severely deformed baby in 2009.


"It is important to understand that under normal conditions, the chances of such occurrences is virtually zero," said Savabieasfahani.


Iraq's government has built a new hospital in Fallujah, but the city's obstetricians have complained that they are still overwhelmed by the sheer number of serious defects. The US military has long denied that it is responsible for any contaminant left behind in the city, or elsewhere in Iraq, as it continues its steady departure from the country it has occupied for almost eight years.


It has said that Iraqis who want to file a complaint are welcome to do so. Several families interviewed by the Guardian in November 2009 said they had filed complaints but had not received replies.


The World Health Organisation is due to begin its research sometime next year. However, there are fears that an extensive survey may not be possible in the still volatile city that still experiences assassinations and bombings most weeks.


"An epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in Fallujah, Iraq," said Savabieasfahani. "This is a serious public health crisis that needs global attention. We need independent and unbiased research into the possible causes of this epidemic.


We invite scientists and organisations to get in touch with us so that we may gain the strength to address this large global public health issue."


City's spike in deformity rates


Birth-defect rates in Falluja have become increasingly alarming over the past two years. In the first half of 2010, the number of monthly cases of serious abnormalities rose to unprecedented levels. In Falluja general hospital, 15% of the 547 babies born in May had a chronic deformity, such as a neural tune defect – which affects the brain and lower limbs – cardiac, or skeletal abnormalities, or cancers.


No other city in Iraq has anywhere near the same levels of reported abnormalities. Falluja sees at least 11 times as many major defects in newborns than world averages, the research has shown.


The latest report, which will be published next week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, says Falluja has been infected by a chronic environmental contaminant. It focuses on depleted uranium, used in weaponry during two US assaults in 2004 as a possible cause of the contaminant. Scientific studies have so far established no link between the rounds, which contain ionising radiation to burst through armour and are commonly used on the battlefield.


The study focuses on metals as a potential conduit for the contaminant. It suggests a bodily accumulation of toxins is causing serious and potentially irreversible damage to the city's population base, and calls for an urgent examination of metals in Falluja as well as a comprehensive examination of the city's recent reproductive history.



Source: Guardian


======================================

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in the mass media of Pakistan:


Rise in deformity rates


Published in DAWN (Pakistan)
January 3, 2011

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/03/rise-in-deformity-rates.html

By Martin Chulov
(From the Guardian, London)

A STUDY examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago. The research, which will be published soon, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns.

The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year — a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.

The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja`s genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — a 15 per cent drop in births of boys.

“We suspect that the population is chronically exposed to an environmental agent,” said one of the report`s authors, environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. “We don`t know what that environmental factor is, but we are doing more tests to find out.”

The report identifies metals as potential contaminating agents afflicting the city — especially among pregnant mothers. “Metals are involved in regulating genome stability,” it says. “As environmental effectors, metals are potentially good candidates to cause birth defects.”

The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.

Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round — either from an assault rifle or artillery piece — bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.

The report acknowledges that other battlefield residues may also be responsible for the defects. “Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and foetal development,” the report says. “The devastating effect of dioxins on the reproductive health of the Vietnamese people is well-known.”

The latest Falluja study surveyed 55 families with seriously deformed newborns between May and August. It was conducted by Dr Samira Abdul Ghani, a paediatrician at Falluja general hospital. In May, 15 per cent of the 547 babies born had birth defects. In the same period, 11 per cent of babies were born at less than 30 weeks and 14 per cent of foetuses spontaneously aborted.

The researchers believe that the figures understate what they describe as an epidemic of abnormalities, because a large number of babies in Falluja are born at home with parents reluctant to seek help from authorities.

One case documented in the report is of a mother and her daughter who after the 2004 battles both gave birth to babies with severe malformations. The second wife of one of the fathers also had a severely deformed baby in 2009.

“It is important to understand that under normal conditions, the chances of such occurrences is virtually zero,” said Savabieasfahani.

The US military has long denied that it is responsible for any contaminant left behind in the city, or elsewhere in Iraq, as it continues its steady departure from the country it has occupied for almost eight years.

It has said that Iraqis who want to file a complaint are welcome to do so. Several families interviewed by the in November 2009 said they had filed complaints but had not received replies.

The World Health Organisation is due to begin its research sometime next year. However, there are fears that an extensive survey may not be possible in the still volatile city. “An epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in Fallujah, Iraq,” said Savabieasfahani. “This is a serious public health crisis that needs global attention.”



===============================================

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Pakistan:




Research links rise in Falluja birth defects and cancers to US assault: report

THE NATION (Pakistan)
December 31, 2010

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/31-Dec-2010/Research-links-rise-in-Falluja-birth-defects-and-cancers-to-US-assault-report/


A study examining the causes of a dramatic spike in birth defects in the Iraqi city of Falluja has for the first time concluded that genetic damage could have been caused by weaponry used in US assaults that took place six years ago.

The research, which will be published next week, confirms earlier estimates revealed by the Guardian of a major, unexplained rise in cancers and chronic neural-tube, cardiac and skeletal defects in newborns. The authors found that malformations are close to 11 times higher than normal rates, and rose to unprecedented levels in the first half of this year – a period that had not been surveyed in earlier reports.

The findings, which will be published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, come prior to a much-anticipated World Health Organisation study of Falluja's genetic health. They follow two alarming earlier studies, one of which found a distortion in the sex ratio of newborns since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – a 15% drop in births of boys.

"We suspect that the population is chronically exposed to an environmental agent," said one of the report's authors, environmental toxicologist Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. "We don't know what that environmental factor is, but we are doing more tests to find out."

The report identifies metals as potential contaminating agents afflicting the city – especially among pregnant mothers. "Metals are involved in regulating genome stability," it says. "As environmental effectors, metals are potentially good candidates to cause birth defects.

The findings are likely to prompt further speculation that the defects were caused by depleted uranium rounds, which were heavily used in two large battles in the city in April and November 2004. The rounds, which contain ionising radiation, are a core component of the armouries of numerous militaries and militias.

Their effects have long been called into question, with some scientists claiming they leave behind a toxic residue, caused when the round – either from an assault rifle or artillery piece – bursts through its target. However, no evidence has yet been established that proves this, and some researchers instead claim that depleted uranium has been demonstrably proven not to be a contaminant.

The report acknowledges that other battlefield residues may also be responsible for the defects. "Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and foetal development," the report says. "The devastating effect of dioxins on the reproductive health of the Vietnamese people is well-known."

The latest Falluja study surveyed 55 families with seriously deformed newborns between May and August. It was conducted by Dr Samira Abdul Ghani, a paediatrician at Falluja general hospital. In May, 15% of the 547 babies born had serious birth defects. In the same period, 11% of babies were born at less than 30 weeks and 14% of foetuses spontaneously aborted.

The researchers believe that the figures understate what they describe as an epidemic of abnormalities, because a large number of babies in Falluja are born at home with parents reluctant to seek help from authorities.

One case documented in the report is of a mother and her daughter who after the 2004 battles both gave birth to babies with severe malformations. The second wife of one of the fathers also had a severely deformed baby in 2009.

"It is important to understand that under normal conditions, the chances of such occurrences is virtually zero," said Savabieasfahani.

Iraq's government has built a new hospital in Fallujah, but the city's obstetricians have complained that they are still overwhelmed by the sheer number of serious defects. The US military has long denied that it is responsible for any contaminant left behind in the city, or elsewhere in Iraq, as it continues its steady departure from the country it has occupied for almost eight years.

It has said that Iraqis who want to file a complaint are welcome to do so. Several families interviewed by the Guardian in November 2009 said they had filed complaints but had not received replies.

The World Health Organisation is due to begin its research sometime next year. However, there are fears that an extensive survey may not be possible in the still volatile city that still experiences assassinations and bombings most weeks.

"An epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in Fallujah, Iraq," said Savabieasfahani. "This is a serious public health crisis that needs global attention. We need independent and unbiased research into the possible causes of this epidemic. We invite scientists and organisations to get in touch with us so that we may gain the strength to address this large global public health issue."

City's spike in deformity rates

Birth-defect rates in Falluja have become increasingly alarming over the past two years. In the first half of 2010, the number of monthly cases of serious abnormalities rose to unprecedented levels. In Falluja general hospital, 15% of the 547 babies born in May had a chronic deformity, such as a neural tune defect – which affects the brain and lower limbs – cardiac, or skeletal abnormalities, or cancers.

No other city in Iraq has anywhere near the same levels of reported abnormalities. Falluja sees at least 11 times as many major defects in newborns than world averages, the research has shown.

The latest report, which will be published next week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, says Falluja has been infected by a chronic environmental contaminant. It focuses on depleted uranium, used in weaponry during two US assaults in 2004 as a possible cause of the contaminant. Scientific studies have so far established no link between the rounds, which contain ionising radiation to burst through armour and are commonly used on the battlefield.

The study focuses on metals as a potential conduit for the contaminant. It suggests a bodily accumulation of toxins is causing serious and potentially irreversible damage to the city's population base, and calls for an urgent examination of metals in Falluja as well as a comprehensive examination of the city's recent reproductive history.

(The Guardian)


==========================================

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Argentina's mass media:



Datos de la Organización Mundial de la Salud

Las bombas de los EE UU multiplicaron los nacimientos con malformaciones en Irak


TIEMPO ARGENTINO
Publicado el 3 de Enero de 2011
(3 January 2011)

http://tiempo.elargentino.com/notas/las-bombas-de-los-ee-uu-multiplicaron-los-nacimientos-con-malformaciones-irak



Los casos de deformaciones en recién nacidos en Faluya son once veces mayores que los niveles mundiales promedio. Estarían relacionados con las armas usadas por las tropas de ocupación en dos grandes ataques realizados en 2004.


En la ciudad iraquí de Faluya aumentó drásticamente la cantidad de recién nacidos con malformaciones debido supuestamente a las municiones usadas por las fuerzas de ocupación estadounidenses, informó el diario británico The Guardian. “Estamos ante una epidemia de niños con deformaciones”, dijo el toxicólogo ambiental Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, uno de los redactores del informe donde se afirma que los casos de malformaciones en esa ciudad son once veces mayores que los niveles mundiales promedio.

Según el estudio, los casos estarían relacionados con las armas utilizadas por las tropas de ocupación de los Estados Unidos durante dos importantes ataques realizados hace seis años.

Los datos de la investigación genética fueron publicados por el periodista Martin Chulov y confirman que durante el primer semestre de 2010 las malformaciones del tubo neuronal, así como los defectos cardíacos y del esqueleto en los recién nacidos se elevaron a niveles sin precedentes en esta ciudad iraquí al borde del Río Eufrates, centro de los musulmanes sunita de Irak. Los resultados serán publicados en la prestigiosa revista International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

La publicación anticipará algunos de los datos sobre investigaciones genéticas en Faluya que hará público la Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) durante 2011. La OMS reveló el año pasado dos estudios que llamaron la atención internacional cuando mostraron la alarmante caída de un 15% de los nacimientos de niños varones registrados en esta ciudad desde la invasión a Irak en 2003. “Tenemos la sospecha de que la población está crónicamente expuesta a un agente ambiental,” dijo Savabieasfahani. Aunque aún no se pudieron identificar con precisión los agentes contaminantes, el especialista aclaró en el informe que varios metales que modifican la estabilidad de los genomas podrían estar afectado a las embarazadas de Faluya.

Durante las dos grandes ofensivas estadounidenses realizadas en abril y noviembre de 2004, los marines utilizaron municiones que contenían uranio empobrecido, que produce radiaciones ionizantes. “Muchos de los materiales utilizados durante las guerras son conocidos como potenciales contaminantes que interfieren en el desarrollo embrionario y fetal”, aclaró la investigación.

Según los datos recogidos por el doctor Samir Abdul Ghani, del servicio de pediatría del Hospital General de Faluya, en mayo de 2010, el 15 % de los 547 bebés nacidos tenían defectos de nacimiento graves, el 11% nacieron con menos de 30 semanas y hubo un 14% de abortos espontáneos. “Es importante entender que en condiciones normales, las posibilidades de que estos hechos se produzcan es prácticamente cero. Lo de Faluya es una grave crisis de salud pública que requiere la atención mundial para evaluar las posibles causas de esta epidemia”, dijo Savabieasfahani, quien aclaró que en ninguna otra ciudad de Irak está dándose este nivel de anomalías.


==============================================

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fallujah birth defects epidemic, as reported in Turkey's mass media:



Felluce’deki sakat doğumlar ile ABD saldırıları bağlantılı

Published in the mass-circulation Turkish daily Hurriyet, at:

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/planet/16654760.asp?gid=286

(From the Guardian)

3 Ocak 2011

(3 January 2011)


Irak’ın Felluce kentindeki yaşanan çok yüksek orandaki sakat doğum vakalarına yönelik yapılan bir araştırma, sorunun ABD güçlerinin altı yıl önce kente düzenlediği saldırılardan kaynaklandığına işaret etti.


Gelecek ay yayımlanacak rapor hakkında bilgi elde eden Guardian, Felluce’de yeni doğan bebeklerde görülen kanser, sinirsel hastalıkları, kalp rahatsızlıkları ve kemik yapılarındaki bozuklukların artışında, ABD’nin kullandığı silahların sorumlu olduğuna dair bilgilere ulaştı.

Raporda, işgalin ilk dönemlerinde yapılan saldırıların ardından, kentteki sakat doğumların normal oranın 11 katına kadar çıktığı belirtildi. “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” dergisinde yayımlanacak olan raporun yanı sıra, Dünya Sağlık Örgütü’de (WHO) Felluce’deki sakat doğumlar hakkında bir araştırma yayımlamaya hazırlanıyor.

Felluce’de geçmişte yapılan araştırmalar, yeni doğan bebeklerin cinsiyet dağılımında ciddi bir değişim olduğunu ve 2003’ten itibaren erkek çocukların doğumunda yüzde 15 azalma yaşandığını gösterdi.

Zehir bilim uzmanı Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, “Rapor, Irak toplumunun sürekli olarak çevreye yayılan zehre maruz kaldığını gösteriyor. Çevresel faktörün ne olduğunu bilmiyoruz ancak bunu ortaya çıkarmak için daha fazla test yapıyoruz” dedi.

Raporda, sakat doğumlara neden olan genetik bozuklukların en büyük sebebinin başta hamile kadınların maruz kaldığı zehirli gaz ve metaller olduğu belirtiliyor. Çevrenin zehirlenmesindeki en büyük neden olarak da savaş alanlarında geride kalan artıkların olduğu düşünülüyor.

Felluce’de sakat doğumlar üzerinde yapılan son araştırma, Felluce Hastanesi çocuk doktoru Samira Abdul Gani tarafından gerçekleştirildi. 55 aile üzerinde yapılan çalışmada, Mayıs ayında doğan 547 bebeğin yüzde 15’inin ciddi sakatlıklar bulundurduğu belirtildi.


======================================

Fallujah birth defects epidemic as reported in Italy:



I bambini deformi di Falluja


Lunedì 03 Gennaio 2011
(Monday, 3 January 2011)

di Carlo Musilli

http://www.altrenotizie.org/esteri/3717-i-bambini-deformi-di-falluja.html


A Falluja centinaia di bambini nascono con difetti al cuore, allo scheletro, al sistema nervoso. Il tasso di malformazioni nei neonati è di undici volte superiore alla norma e negli ultimi anni ha fatto registrare un incremento spaventoso, raggiungendo livelli record nei primi sei mesi del 2010. Un'epidemia di danni genetici causata probabilmente dalle armi degli americani, che nel 2004 attaccarono due volte la città irachena. E' quanto sostiene uno studio scientifico che sarà pubblicato sul prossimo numero dell'International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health e di cui il Guardian ha dato alcune anticipazioni.

Nessuno prima d'ora aveva avuto il coraggio di mettere in relazione la guerra con il fenomeno delle malformazioni, eppure di indagini ne erano state fatte. Due ricerche avevano già dimostrato come a Falluja, dopo l'attacco americano, le nascite di bambini maschi fossero improvvisamente diminuite del 15%. Da uno studio epidemiologico pubblicato nel luglio scorso, inoltre, è emerso che nella stessa zona, fra il 2004 e il 2009, il numero di tumori e leucemie è quadruplicato. Ora è superiore a quello registrato fra i sopravvissuti di Hiroshima e Nagasaki.

L'ultimo rapporto ha analizzato la situazione di 55 famiglie in cui, fra il maggio e l'agosto di quest'anno, sono nati bambini con gravi malformazioni. Soltanto nel mese di maggio, dei 547 bambini presi in esame, quelli deformi erano il 15%. Nello stesso periodo si è avuto l'11% di parti prematuri e il 14% di aborti spontanei. A detta però degli stessi scienziati che li hanno prodotti, questi dati fotografano la realtà in modo incompleto. A Falluja, infatti, la maggior parte delle donne non partorisce in ospedale. E quelle che danno alla luce un figlio deforme, difficilmente si rivolgono a un medico. Eppure, alcuni casi documentati nella ricerca raccontano una verità difficile da fraintendere. Come quello di una madre e una figlia, che, dopo il 2004, hanno partorito entrambe bambini malformati. Il padre di uno dei due piccoli si è risposato e ha avuto un altro figlio, anche lui con problemi genetici.

"In condizioni normali, le probabilità che si verifichi un caso simile rasentano lo zero - ha spiegato al quotidiano inglese Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, uno degli estensori del rapporto - e sospettiamo che la popolazione sia cronicamente esposta a un agente ambientale. Non sappiamo quale sia, ma stiamo facendo ulteriori test per appurarlo". Non lo sappiamo, ma lo sospettiamo fortemente. Gli scienziati parlano genericamente di "metalli" come possibili responsabili delle malformazioni. Per prudenza, devono tenersi sul vago.

Chi invece non ha mai aperto un manuale di tossicologia in vita sua, ma magari ha letto un giornale, pensa immediatamente a qualcosa di specifico: i proiettili all'uranio impoverito usati dai soldati americani nell'aprile e soprattutto nel novembre del 2004, durante la seconda battaglia di Falluja. In quell'occasione, all'attacco partecipò anche l'esercito inglese.

In realtà, la questione è controversa. Molti sostengono che i famigerati proiettili portino con sé un residuo tossico, pericoloso soprattutto nel lungo periodo. Al momento, però, non ci sono prove scientifiche. Anzi, secondo alcuni sarebbe addirittura dimostrato che l'uranio impoverito non possa agire come contaminante. Ma non è questo il punto. Gli stessi ricercatori ammettono che "diversi altri contaminanti usati in guerra possono interferire con lo sviluppo dell'embrione e del feto". Ricordano, ad esempio, "i devastanti effetti della diossina" sui bambini vietnamiti.

Anche ammettere l'innocenza dell'uranio impoverito, quindi, non basterebbe a scagionare l'esercito americano. Nel 2005 un'inchiesta di Rainews24 documentò che, dopo i bombardamenti, i soldati Usa erano soliti gettare a caso per le strade di Falluja quintali di fosforo bianco. Inizialmente il Dipartimento di Stato americano aveva negato.

In seguito, il Dipartimento della Difesa aveva ammesso l'utilizzo del fosforo bianco come arma offensiva contro i nemici (già questo sarebbe illegale: nel '97 gli Usa hanno firmato una convenzione contro l'utilizzo delle armi chimiche), ma aveva escluso categoricamente di aver colpito dei civili. Willie Pete, come amichevolmente viene chiamato dai militari il "White Phosphorus", scioglie la carne umana come un'aspirina. E, negli anni, è fonte di mutazioni genetiche.

Oggi come allora l'esercito americano rifiuta ogni responsabilità. Non solo. Quasi a schernire gli iracheni, ha fatto sapere che chiunque abbia delle lamentele è invitato a scrivere messaggi di protesta al Pentagono. Alcuni disperati l’hanno fatto. Inutile dire che non hanno ricevuto risposta.


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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Turkish media reports on Fallujah birth defects epidemic:



Guardian'dan korkunç rapor

Guardian gazetesinin açıkladığı rapora göre Amerikan'ın Felluce'de kullandığı silahlar halkın genetik yapısına zarar vermiş olabilir.


01.01.2011

At: http://www.samanyoluhaber.com/h_486853_guardian-abd-operasyonu-fellucelilerin-genetigini-bozdu.html



İngiliz Guardian gazetesinin kısmen açıkladığı bir rapor, Irak'ın Felluce kentinde doğum kusurlarında, kanser, kronik sinir yolu, kalp ve iskelet yapısının bozukluğu gibi hastalıklardaki büyük artışın, Amerikan ordusunun 2004'te gerçekleştirdiği iki büyük operasyonda kullandığı silahlardan kaynaklanmış olabileceğini ortaya koydu.

Amerikan ordusunun 6 yıl önce Irak'ın Felluce kentinde Sünni direnişçilere karşı yürüttüğü operasyonda kullanılan silahların, şehir halkının genetik yapısına zarar vermiş olabileceği bildirildi. Yapılan bir araştırma, Felluce kentinde doğum kusurlarındaki artışın, ABD'nin 2004 Nisan ve Kasım aylarında gerçekleştirdiği büyük saldırılarda kullandığı silahlar yüzünden olabileceğini ortaya koydu. İngiliz Guardian gazetesi, Uluslararası Çevre Araştırması ve Halk Sağlığı Dergisi'nde gelecek hafta yayımlanacak araştırmanın, kentte yenidoğanlarda kanser, kronik sinir yolu, kalp ve iskelet yapısının bozukluğu gibi hastalıklardaki açıklanamayan büyük artışla ilgili çalışmayı doğruladığını yazdı. Araştırmada, bu yılın ilk yarısında yenidoğanlarda sakatlıkların normale oranla yaklaşık 11 kat artarak daha önce rastlanmayan seviyelere çıktığına işaret edildi. Felluce'deki bir hastanenin çocuk doktoru tarafından, mayıs ve ağustos ayları arasında ciddi kusurlu bebeği olan 55 aileyle yapılan araştırma da bu dönemde doğan 547 bebeğin yüzde 15'inde ciddi anomaliler bulunduğunu ortaya koydu.

Irak'ın başka hiçbir kentinde doğum anomalilerinin Felluce'deki düzeyde olmadığı belirtilirken, bulguların, Felluce'de Amerikan birliklerinin 2004'teki operasyonlarda kullandığı radyasyon içeren zayıflatılmış uranyum top mermilerinin anomalilere yol açmış olabileceğine işaret ettiği kaydedildi. Bazı bilim adamları bu mermilerin çevreye toksik artık bıraktığını söylüyor. Araştırmayı yürütenlerden çevre bilimcisi Müjgan Savabiesfahani, Felluce halkının zehirli bir maddeye kronik olarak maruz kaldığından şüphelendiklerini, bu faktörün ne olduğunu bilmediklerini, ancak araştırmalarının sürdüğünü ifade etti. Araştırmanın sonunda hazırlanan raporda, özellikle hamileleri etkileyen muhtemel zehirli maddeler olarak metaller tanımlanırken, doğumlardaki genetik bozuklukların kaynağının bu zehirli metaller olabileceği bildirildi. Felluce'de geçmişte yapılan araştırmalar, yenidoğan bebeklerin cinsiyet dağılımında da ciddi bir değişim olduğunu, Irak'ta savaşın başladığı 2003'ten bu yana erkek çocukların doğumunda yüzde 15 azalma görüldüğünü gösteriyor. Dünya Sağlık Örgütü de (DSÖ) Felluce'deki doğum anomalileriyle ilgili bir araştırma yapmaya hazırlanıyor.

Amerikan ordusu, Felluce operasyonlarında beyaz fosfor bombası kullandığını itiraf etmiş ve bu konuda şikayet kapısının açık olduğunu açıklamıştı. Ancak Iraklı aileler, başvurularına herhangi bir cevap alamadıklarını bildirmişti.


ZAMAN

Mass-circulation newspaper from Spain reports on Falluja birth defects epidemic:



Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XExbH673R3A&feature=player_embedded#!


"Se multiplican las malformaciones en bebés en Faluya

"En mayo, el 15% de los recién nacidos tenían problemas.

"Un nuevo estudio relaciona el impacto de las bombas de EEUU en la población"

Published in PÚBLICO.ES (Madrid) 31/12/2010, at:

http://www.publico.es/internacional/354089/se-multiplican-las-malformaciones-en-bebes-en-faluya


El numero de malformaciones supera 11 veces la media mundial. El 15% de los 547 bebés nacidos en el mes de mayo tenían problemas. Ese mes, el 11% de las mujeres dieron a luz con 30 semanas de gestación y el 14% tuvo abortos espontáneos.

El impacto de las bombas estadounidenses en la población de la ciudad iraquí de Faluya es motivo de estudio desde la invasión de 2003. Un nuesvo informe vuelve a apuntar al uranio como la causa de las malformaciones en los bebés.

Durante mucho tiempo hubo quien trató las malformaciones en fetos en Faluya como un asunto de la propaganda pro iraquí, pero siete años después de la invasión de la coalición liderada por EEUU, los casos se multiplican en la población y los investigadores buscan sus respuestas en causas ambientales.

El informe ha sido publicado en el International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health un detallado informe que pone de manifiesto cómo se han multiplicado los casos de malfornaciones en recién nacidos en los últimos dos años y será completado por un estudio de la Organización Mundial de la Salud.


Las batallas de Faluya de 2004

El estudio se centra en el análisis de 55 familias y concluye que sólo la presencia de determinadas dioxinas en el ambiente puede ser la causa de estos problemas.

"Sospechamos que la población está expuesta de manera crónica a un agente medioambiental. No sabemos cuál es, pero estamos intentando averiguarlo", dijo Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, uno de los expertos en toxicología que se ha encargado del informe.


El nuevo documento identifica metales pesados que podrían ser esos agentes contaminantes que están afectando a las mujeres embarazadas de Faluya. "Los metales pueden desestabilizar el genoma humano y como desencadenantes medioambientales, los metales son potencialmente los mejores candidatos para causar malformaciones en el parto", dice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Los efectos devastadores que tuvieron estas dioxinas en la población vietnamita es por todos conocidos"


----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Los investigadores no pueden demostrarlo de manera inequívoca, pero el informe viene a corroborar otros análisis anteriores que relacionan el empleo de proyectiles con uranio por parte de EEUU en dos batallas en abril y noviembre de 2004, según recoge hoy el diario británico The Guardian. Los efectos de la artillería para algunos expertos son simples: esas bombas dejan tras de sí residuos tóxicos cuando explotan "que afectan al desarrollo embrional del feto. Los efectos devastadores que tuvieron estas dioxinas en la población vietnamita es por todos conocidos", dice el texto.

En la investigación que tuvo lugar entre mayo y agosto de este año participaron 55 familias de Faluya en las que se habían detectados casos de recién nacidos con serias malformaciones. Sólo en mayo, el 15% de los 547 neo natos tenía malformaciones. En el mismo mes, el 11% de los niños nacieron de forma prematura y el 14% de las mujeres tuvo abortos.


=========================================

Venezuela newspaper reports on Fallujah birth defects epidemic


"Irak: se multiplican las malformaciones en bebés en Faluya"

In the Caracas daily Ciudad CCS, published by the Caracas Municipal Council

31 December 2010

http://ciudadccs.info/?p=133165




31/12/10.- El numero de malformaciones supera 11 veces la media mundial. El 15% de los 547 bebés nacidos en el mes de mayo tenían problemas. Ese mes, el 11% de las mujeres dieron a luz con 30 semanas de gestación y el 14% tuvo abortos espontáneos.


El impacto de las bombas estadounidenses en la población de la ciudad iraquí de Faluya es motivo de estudio desde la invasión de 2003. Un nuesvo informe vuelve a apuntar al uranio como la causa de las malformaciones en los bebés.

Durante mucho tiempo hubo quien trató las malformaciones en fetos en Faluya como un asunto de la propaganda pro iraquí, pero siete años después de la invasión de la coalición liderada por EEUU, los casos se multiplican en la población y los investigadores buscan sus respuestas en causas ambientales.

El informe ha sido publicado en el International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health un detallado informe que pone de manifiesto cómo se han multiplicado los casos de malfornaciones en recién nacidos en los últimos dos años y será completado por un estudio de la Organización Mundial de la Salud.


Las batallas de Faluya de 2004


El estudio se centra en el análisis de 55 familias y concluye que sólo la presencia de determinadas dioxinas en el ambiente puede ser la causa de estos problemas.

“Los efectos devastadores que tuvieron estas dioxinas en la población vietnamita es por todos conocidos”"Sospechamos que la población está expuesta de manera crónica a un agente medioambiental. No sabemos cuál es, pero estamos intentando averiguarlo”, dijo Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, uno de los expertos en toxicología que se ha encargado del informe.

El nuevo documento identifica metales pesados que podrían ser esos agentes contaminantes que están afectando a las mujeres embarazadas de Faluya. “Los metales pueden desestabilizar el genoma humano y como desencadenantes medioambientales, los metales son potencialmente los mejores candidatos para causar malformaciones en el parto”, dice.

Los investigadores no pueden demostrarlo de manera inequívoca, pero el informe viene a corroborar otros análisis anteriores que relacionan el empleo de proyectiles con uranio por parte de EEUU en dos batallas en abril y noviembre de 2004, según recoge hoy el diario británico The Guardian. Los efectos de la artillería para algunos expertos son simples: esas bombas dejan tras de sí residuos tóxicos cuando explotan “que afectan al desarrollo embrional del feto. Los efectos devastadores que tuvieron estas dioxinas en la población vietnamita es por todos conocidos”, dice el texto.

En la investigación que tuvo lugar entre mayo y agosto de este año participaron 55 familias de Faluya en las que se habían detectados casos de recién nacidos con serias malformaciones. Sólo en mayo, el 15% de los 547 neo natos tenía malformaciones. En el mismo mes, el 11% de los niños nacieron de forma prematura y el 14% de las mujeres tuvo abortos.


Público.es

===========================================

Al-Quds (Palestine) reports on Fallujah birth defects epidemic:


الصفحة الرئيسية ›
ارتفاع معدلات تشوه المواليد والسرطان في الفلوجة بسبب الذخائر المستخدمة في هجمات الجيش الاميركي على المدينة عام 2004
الجمعة ديسمبر 31 2010



اجنة مشوهة نتيجة استخدام الذخائر المنضبة في الفلوجة




الفلوجة (العراق) - - ذكرت صحيفة "ذي غارديان" البريطانية في مقال اليوم الجمعة أن دراسة تناولت أسباب الارتفاع الهائل في معدلات تشوه المواليد في مدينة الفلوجة العراقية قد توصلت للمرة الأولى إلى أن التشوه الجيني يمكن أن يكون بسبب الأسلحة التي استخدمتها الولايات المتحدة في حربها على العراق قبل ست سنوات.

وقالت الصحيفة: "يؤكد البحث الذي سينشر الأسبوع المقبل تقديرات سابقة كشفتها الصحيفة بشأن ارتفاع كبير مجهول الأسباب في الإصابة بمرض السرطان والأمراض العصبية والتشوهات القلبية والهيكلية لدى المواليد الجدد. وقد وجد الباحثون أن التشوهات زادت بمقدار 11 ضعفا عن المعدلات الطبيعية، وارتفعت إلى مستويات غير مسبوقة في النصف الأول من هذا العام- وهي فترة لم يسبق أن تمت تغطيتها في التقارير السابقة.

وتأتي النتائج، التي ستنشر في المجلة الدولية للأبحاث البيئية والصحة العامة، قبل بدء دراسة طال انتظارها لمنظمة الصحة الدولية حول الصحة الجينية في الفلوجة. وتتبع هذه الأبحاث دراسات سابقة مقلقة، وجدت إحداها تغيرا في نسبة جنس المواليد منذ غزو العراق عام 2003- اذ انخفض معدل إنجاب الذكور بنسبة 15 بالمئة.

وقال أحد القائمين على البحث، وهو عالم السموم البيئية موزغان سافابي أصفهاني: "نحن نشتبه في أن السكان معرضون بشكل مزمن لعامل ملوث بيئي. ولا نعلم ما هو بالتحديد، لكننا نجري المزيد من الأبحاث من أجل اكتشاف ذلك".

وتحدد الدراسة المعادن كعوامل تلوث محتملة تعاني منها المدينة - خاصة بالنسبة الى النساء الحوامل. وتقول إن "المعادن تؤثر في تنظيم الاستقرار الجيني. وبصفتها مؤثرات بيئية، فإن المعادن أحد الأسباب المحتملة للتشوهات الخلقية لدى المواليد".

ومن المرجح أن تؤدي الدراسة إلى مزيد من التكهنات بأن التشوهات قد نتجت عن قنابل تحتوي على اليورانيوم المنضب والتي استخدمت بكثافة خلال معركتين شهدتهما المدينة في نيسان (أبريل) وتشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) عام 2004. وتعد هذه القنابل، التي تحتوي على إشعاعات متأينة، مكونا أساسيا في ترسانات العديد من الجيوش والميليشيات.

ولطالما جرى البحث والتساؤل حول تأثيراتها، وقال بعض العلماء إنها تترك وراءها بقايا سامة، تنتج حين تخترق القذيفة هدفها –سواء تم إطلاقها بالبندقية أو المدفع. لكن لم يتم إيجاد أي دلائل بعد لإثبات ذلك، وادعى بعض الباحثين الآخرين بأن اليورانيوم المنضب ليس من الملوثات.

ويقر البحث بأن بقايا أخرى من المعارك قد تكون المسؤولة عن التشوهات. وجاء فيه أن "العديد من الملوثات الحربية


المعروفة من المحتمل أن تتدخل في التطور الطبيعي للأجنة والمواليد. والتأثير المدمر للديوكسينات على الصحة الإنجابية للشعب الفيتنامي أمر معروف جيدا".

وقد شملت الدراسة الأخيرة عن الفلوجة 55 عائلة لديها حالات تشوه في المواليد بين شهري أيار (مايو) وآب (أغسطس). وأجرتها الدكتورة سميرة عبد الغني، وهي طبيبة أطفال في المستشفى العام بالمدينة. ووجدت أنه في شهر أيار (مايو)، كان 15 بالمئة من المواليد يعانون من تشوه خلقي خطير. وفي الفترة نفسها، ولد 11 بالمئة من الأطفال بعد اقل من 30 أسبوعا من الحمل، وأجهض 14 بالمئة من الأجنة تلقائيا.

ويعتقد الباحثون أن الإحصاءات تقلل مما وصفوه بوباء من الحالات غير الطبيعية، لأن عددا كبيرا من المواليد في الفلوجة يولدون في المنزل مع تردد الأهالي في طلب المساعدة من السلطات.

وإحدى الحالات الموثقة في الدراسة هي حالة أم وابنتها أنجبتا بعد معارك عام 2004 مولودين يعانيان من تشوهات شديدة. كما أنجبت الزوجة الثانية للأب طفلا يعاني من تشوه شديد عام 2009.

وقال سافابي أصفهاني: "من المهم أن نفهم أن احتمال حدوث امر كهذا في الحالات الطبيعية هو صفر".

وقد أنشأت الحكومة العراقية مستشفى جديدا في الفلوجة، لكن أطباء التوليد هناك اشتكوا من أنهم ما زالوا يواجهون الأعداد الهائلة للتشوهات الخطيرة. وقد أنكر الجيش الأميركي أنه المسؤول عن أي ملوثات بقيت في المدينة أو في أي مكان آخر في العراق، بينما يواصل انسحابه من الدولة التي احتلها لحوالي ثماني سنوات.

ويقول الجيش الأميركي إن العراقيين الذين يريدون أن يوجهوا شكاوى يتم الترحيب بهم لفعل ذلك. وذكر عائلات عديدة من العائلات التي قابلتها الصحيفة في تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) عام 2009 أنها وجهت شكاوى لكنها لم تتلق أي ردود.

ومن المقرر أن تبدأ منظمة الصحة العالمية بحثها العام المقبل. لكن ثمة مخاوف من عدم إمكانية إجراء بحث واسع النطاق في مدينة ما تزال تشهد الاغتيالات والتفجيرات معظم الأسابيع.

وقال سافابي أصفهاني: "إن وباء تشوه المواليد قد بدأ يتكشف في الفلوجة. وهذه أزمة صحة عامة خطيرة تحتاج إلى انتباه دولي. نحتاج لأبحاث مستقلة وغير متحيزة في الأسباب المحتملة لهذا الوباء. وندعو العلماء والمنظمات للتواصل معنا حتى يمكننا أن نحصل على القوة اللازمة للتعامل مع هذه القضية الكبيرة المتعلقة بالصحة العامة العالمية".


تصاعد معدلات التشوه في المدينة

لقد أصبحت معدلات تشوه المواليد في الفلوجة مقلقة بشكل متزايد خلال العامين الماضيين. في النصف الأول من عام 2010، ارتفع عدد الحالات الشهرية للتشوهات الشديدة إلى مستويات غير مسبوقة. وفي مستشفى الفلوجة، عانى 15 بالمئة من المواليد البالغ عددهم 547 في أيار (مايو) من تشوه مزمن، مثل تشوه الخلايا العصبية- الذي يؤثر على الدماغ والاطراف السفلية- والتشوهات القلبية والعظمية أو السرطانات. ولا تشهد أي مدينة أخرى في العراق مستويات مقاربة لتلك التي تواجهها الفلوجة. وتشير الدراسة الأخيرة إلى أن تراكم المواد السامة يؤدي إلى تدمير غير قابل للعلاج في القاعدة السكانية للمدينة.


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