ABDC Accomplishments for 1999

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The following is what the ABDC accomplished during 1999.

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January - ABDC's web site at www. birthdefects.org received over one million hits this year. Families from all over the world contacted ABDC for information about birth defects and their causes.

February - ABDC participated in an Environmental Protection Agency telephone conference on new testing regulations for endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors are persistent contaminants in our environment that disrupt hormone systems and may cause adverse reproductive outcomes including birth defects.

March - ABDC began planning stages to put the National Birth Defects Registry project on the Internet making this independent research project less costly and more accessible to communities at risk from toxic exposures.

April - ABDC's national Birth Defects Registry increased to over 4,000 cases. Registry data is currently being used for a study of Goldenhar Syndrome in the children of Gulf War veterans. This study, a collaborative project between ABDC and the University of Texas - Southwestern, is looking at factors that may make some families more susceptible to having a child with a birth defect after a toxic exposure.

May - Rolling Thunder (350,000 veterans on motorcycles) invited ABDC to make a presentation on birth defects and disabilities in Vietnam and Gulf War veterans' children at Memorial Day event in Washington, D.C.

June - Science and Environmental Health Network wrote feature article on ABDC's National Birth Defect Registry.

July - ABDC converted from a quarterly printed newsletter to a monthly electronic newsletter this year. The electronic newsletter saves trees, eliminates the need for toxic inks and solvents and reduces paper waste while saving your donations for parent services and registry research.

August - ABDC met with representatives from the Farm workers Association and Sierra Club to discuss plans for independent monitoring of birth defect clusters in the state of Florida.

September - National Gulf War Resource Center invited ABDC to participate in their conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

October - The science and Environmental Health Network asked ABDC to make a presentation on birth defect surveillance through the National Birth Defect Registry at Their Boston meeting of scientists, representatives from large environmental organizations and environmental funders.

November - ABDC opened a new Download Access information section with 31 birth defect fact sheets, 8 environmental fact sheets and 6 comprehensive special reports immediately available for download at www.birthdefects.org. New fact sheets are being added every month This new service makes more information on birth defects and their causes available to more families and helps to raise funds to support independent research through the National Birth Defect Registry.

December - Over 3,000 families or individuals have contacted ABDC this year for specific information on birth defects, services, environmental causes of birth defects and parent matching.

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