California Health Officials Say No Common Cause for Birth Defects Near Dump

KETTLEMAN CITY, Calif. -- California health officials say there is no common cause for birth defects plaguing infants near the West's largest hazardous-waste landfill.

Officials say a state investigation found no common health or environmental factor linking the birth defect cases near Kettleman City, where residents are battling plans to expand the Chemical Waste Management Inc. landfill.

Officials reviewed the cases of 11 children born with major birth defects, as well as air, soil and water in the community and at the nearby dump.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered the department and the California Environmental Protection Agency to investigate in February. The draft report was released Monday and is open to public comment.