Study Links Incidence of Birth Defects to Landfills

London -- The Small Area Health Statistics Unit has published the results of a study linking the incidence of birth defects to those who live within 1.25 miles of landfills in the United Kingdom. Researchers found that the overall risk of birth defects was 1 percent higher among those living near landfills, the risk of low birth weight was 5 percent higher and the risk of those living near hazardous waste was 7 percent higher. Although nearly 80 percent of British people live within this range, researchers noted that the report does not prove a distinct link and that more research is needed. Meantime, the U.K. government has pledged to reduce the country's dependence on landfills.