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Radiation Birth Defects

The exposure of an unborn baby to radiation can have severe consequences including birth defects, cancer, and even death. The severity of the health effects depends on the gestational time and total amount of radiation exposure. However, even if the amount of exposure is not enough to make the mother sick, it can still have serious consequences for the baby.

When Can Radiation Birth Defects Occur?

The fetus is particularly vulnerable to developing a radiation birth defect during early development, especially between weeks 2 and 15 of pregnancy. Radiation birth defects that occur during this more sensitive time of fetal development include severe brain damage, which results in lower IQs and even mental retardation, stunted growth, and a variety of others.

Radiation birth defects similar to those that develop early on can also occur in the 16- to 25-week stage of pregnancy, particularly after an extreme amount of exposure. Such exposure would more than likely cause radiation sickness in the mother.

From the 26th week of pregnancy until birth, the fetus is less likely to develop radiation birth defects. This does not mean that they cannot occur, only that there is a decreased risk because the unborn baby is fully developed at this point.

How Does Radiation Exposure or Contamination Happen?

Radioactive contamination occurs when radioactive materials are released into the environment and an individual swallows, breathes, or absorbs these radioactive materials into the body. The following are ways this could happen:

  • Accident at a nuclear power plant
  • Testing of nuclear weapons
  • Explosion of an atomic bomb
  • Accidental release of radiation from medical or industrial device
  • Act of terrorism

Radiation exposure occurs when radioactive waves or particles penetrate the body , such as during an x-ray. A person getting an x-ray and those exposed to x-rays in the workplace are at risk. Exposure can also occur through proximity, namely when an uncontaminated person comes into close contact with radioactive materials or a contaminated person, place, or thing. Exposure can lead to contamination in instances where radioactive materials are ingested or absorbed.

Radioactive contamination and radiation exposure both cause radiation birth defects. Unfortunately, radiation cannot be seen, smelled, felt, or tasted, so it is difficult to know when exposure has occurred. Pregnant women who are concerned about radiation exposure should consult with a physician immediately to learn about the types of birth defects that can develop as a result of radiation exposure.

Get Legal Help For Children With Birth Defects From Radiation Exposure

If you suspect that your baby has a radiation birth defect, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your losses. Please contact us to learn more about the causes of birth defects or for a FREE consultation with qualified birth defect attorney who can help you understand your legal rights.

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