Toxic exposure on military bases leading to miscarriages, preemies, and congenital birth defects

By Treven Pyles

Posted on July 18th, 2021

Female veterans or the wives of veterans who were stationed at military bases contaminated with PFAS while they were pregnant are at high risk of experiencing a miscarriage and preterm birth. Furthermore, their babies also have great chances of being born with a wide range of birth defects, such as spina bifida and neural tube defects.

By now, it is a known fact that the environment of over 700 military bases throughout the United States is heavily contaminated with PFAS, a group of toxic chemicals that can lead to numerous terrible diseases, including multiple types of cancer if one is exposed to them. However, while the majority of information available about this issue concerns male veterans, little is spoken about pregnant female veterans and the pregnant wives of veterans who were stationed with them on these polluted military bases. Exposure to PFAS is not only dangerous for the pregnant woman herself but also for her unborn baby, as these harmful chemicals can easily penetrate the womb and greatly affect the fetus.

There are a lot of health problems pregnant female veterans or pregnant women who were stationed on these military bases can develop as a consequence of PFAS exposure, such as miscarriages and preemies. As for their babies, they are often born with congenital birth defects such as spina bifida or neural tube defects. Considering the high risk of pregnant women who spent time at contaminated military bases of suffering a serious health problem, as well as the great chances of their children being born with a birth defect, there is not a shadow of a doubt that more awareness needs to be raised of this alarming issue.

How the presence of PFAS in the blood leads to health problems in pregnant women and their children

According to medical studies, if a pregnant woman has PFAS in her blood, these harmful chemicals may interfere with gene regulators and hormones that control two of the essential functions of the body, namely metabolism, and immunity. Furthermore, PFAS may also alter the levels of thyroid hormones of both the mother and the baby, which play a crucial role in brain development, growth and metabolism, and immunity. Therefore, prenatal exposure to PFAS may cause immediate and permanent effects on the mother and the baby.

In 1981, the notorious 3M company that manufactures products with PFAS examined the umbilical cord of some of the newborns of their workers and found that PFAS penetrated the placenta, but they kept these findings hidden. Consequently, there is no doubt that exposure to PFAS can have terrible effects on the health of both pregnant women and their children. The following are some of the main health issues heavy exposure to PFAS may cause in pregnant women who spent time on contaminated military bases and their babies:

  • Miscarriages: According to a study published in the Environmental Health Perspective in 2020, there is some evidence of a connection between PFAS exposure and miscarriages. The authors of the study found that PFOA and PFHpS, two of the chemicals from the PFAS group, had the strongest association with miscarriages. The higher the concentration of PFAS in a pregnant woman's blood, the higher her risk of experiencing a miscarriage is.
  • Preemies: Preterm birth, which refers to the baby being born too early, namely before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is experienced by approximately 380,000 women annually in the United States. While a definitive causal relation has not yet been found, multiple studies suggest that the presence of PFAS in the blood of the mother can lead to premature birth. For instance, a study of nearly 50,000 births in Minnesota was the first to discover a connection between PFAS exposure and a higher rate of premature births.
  • Birth defects: According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, exposure to PFAS is also associated with birth defects in the babies of women who have these toxic chemicals in their blood. PFAS are detectable in the umbilical cord and in the amniotic fluid, and a series of toxicological studies found that these substances may be teratogenic, which means that they can cause birth defects. The most common birth defects exposure to PFAS can lead to concern the heart.

If you are a woman who was stationed at one or multiple military bases contaminated with PFAS while you were pregnant and experienced a miscarriage or a preemie or if your baby was born with a birth defect, it is important to know that you have the right to seek financial compensation. Our lawyers are ready to offer you the assistance you need to recover the money you deserve for your suffering or on behalf of your child from the liable companies.

File a toxic exposure claim with the help of our law firm

For over 25 years, we have been helping victims of toxic exposure and, if your health or your baby's health was affected by PFAS exposure, we strongly encourage you to contact our law firm. After a complete assessment of your case, we will be able to tell you whether you can file a toxic exposure claim with the responsible companies that exposed you and your child to PFAS.

The only documents that we will request are your military records, which you must retrieve if you are a veteran or proof of your stay at one or multiple military bases if you are the spouse of a veteran, and your and your baby's medical records. Your toxic exposure claim will be filed with the companies that contaminated the military base with PFAS, as well as with the VA if you are a veteran so you can also benefit from additional compensation. Because we are aware that women who went through such a distressing experience as a miscarriage, gave birth prematurely, or have a baby with a birth defect are in a lot of emotional pain, we will ease the legal process as much as possible for you. Eventually, you may obtain the money you deserve if you decide to work with us.