Does Kauai have higher than normal/average cardiac birth defects rates?

In a The Garden Island Sept.16 letter from Dr. Graham Chelius he said “There is not an increased rate of cardiac defects of any kind on the Westside of Kauai.” He then went on to reference the State’s birth defect registry.

According to a letter I received from the Director of the State Department of Health (SDOH) on July 1, 2014 the State is working hard to bring current the most recent few years of Kauai data however 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and 2013 remain incomplete.  2010–2012 data collection and input for Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital (KVMH) is complete and for Wilcox Hospital they have completed 2010–2011, however “records have yet to be analyzed by a geneticist”.  According to the letter the SDOH is also trying “to ascertain if Kauai babies were transferred before birth to other birthing facilities in Hawaii…”.

I sincerely hope Dr. Chelius  is correct.  However other physicians on Kauai’s west side have submitted public testimony indicating their increased concern about high birth defect rates and the need for further investigation into this area.   Thus the urgency that the SDOH has now placed on updating the birth defect registry.

Numerous Kauai physicians from Kauai’s west side and from all around our island testified in support of the passage of Bill 2491 (now ordinance 960).  A majority of Kauai pediatricians signed a letter in support and the Hawaii Nurses Association and the Hawaii State Teachers Association all supported passage of this measure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in a national report specifically recommends the key components contained within ordinance 960 – basic disclosure and buffer zones.  The American Cancer Institute and other extremely credible organizations have reported extensively on the negative health and environmental impacts of long term pesticide exposure.

The research is clear – people who live and work in areas that are subject to regular pesticide use have higher rates of various ailments including certain cancers.  The Environmental Protection Agency reports: “Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.”

If anyone is in doubt I suggest you read: American Academy of Pediatrics, Volume 130, Number 6, December 2012 or Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2013 American Cancer Society or UC Davis Autism/Pesticides Study 2013

All we are asking for is basic disclosure, modest buffer zones and a health study.  It shouldn’t be so hard.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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