As some of the most common birth defects, neural tube defects occur in 1 out of 1,000 newborns in the United States. There are two types of neural tube defects, namely open and closed. While the former refers to the brain or the spinal cord being exposed through a defect in the skull or vertebrae, the latter occurs when the spinal defect is covered by skin. Between 50% and 70% of neural tube defects can be prevented if the pregnant woman supplements her diet with folic acid. Insufficient folic acid is one of the main causes of neural tube defects. The following are the most common neural tube defects:
- spina bifida
- tethered cord
Nevertheless, even if the pregnant woman who is exposed to PFAS takes enough folic acid, the risk of giving birth to a child with a neural tube defect is high, as these chemicals are highly toxic. The primary source of PFAS on military bases throughout the country is aqueous film-forming foam, also known as AFFF, a fire suppressant used to put out jet fuel and petroleum fires by military firefighters and trainees. Once PFAS are released in the environment, they persist, as they are forever chemicals. Similarly, once they enter the human body, they remain there forever, being able to cause serious health problems to the unborn child in pregnant women. If you gave birth to a child with a neural tube defect and were stationed at a contaminated military base while you were pregnant, you are entitled to financial compensation.