Hawaii residents might avoid Washington state if radiation becomes an issue.washington-flag

Medical experts from around the world are keeping an eye on Washington state's abnormally high amount of anencephaly (a fatal birth defect) cases, as reported by the Washington State Department of Health.

"Typically, one or two anencephaly cases would be expected in about 10,000 annual births. The investigation found about eight cases per 10,000 births in the three-county area of Yakima, Benton, and Franklin," the Washington State Department of Health reported. "Medical experts found that there was no significant differences between those cases and healthy births in those counties."[1]

Coincidentally, Hanford Site, the nation's most contaminated nuclear site -- is located in the middle of those counties... although federal and state officials claimed that the radiation that has been leaking from that site poses no immediate threat to the environment or public health.[2]

Washington state is a popular vacation destination for Hawaii residents. If Washington health officials finds that minor radiation spikes in those counties contributed to those birth defects, that could impact Washington's tourism industry, which has already faced hardships in recent years.

Sources:

  1. WA.gov | Birth defects study in south central WA is inconclusive — no common causes | July 16, 2013

  2. NBCNews.com | Feds: Nuclear waste may be leaking into soil from Hanford site | Shannon Dininny, The Associated Press | June 22, 2013

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