As a parent of a child with birth defects, I often search for causes and suspect chemicals in our environment are to blame. For our family, we will probably never know, but that is not the case for the Corby group. Families in the Corby group blame the “massive demolition, excavation and redevelopment” of a former British Steel plant for their children’s birth defects. Many of these children have missing or deformed hands and feet. A recent high court decision ruled in their favor that the “atmospheric soup of toxic materials” was caused by negligence of Corby Borough Council.
Between 1983 through 1999, the former steel plant was cleaned up with a “dig and dump”. The Guardian reports:
That negligence, and breach of the council’s statutory duty from 1992, led to contaminated mud and dust being spread around Corby and in homes in the town, the judge ruled, and those contaminants could realistically have caused the types of birth defects suffered by the claimants – of which there was a “statistically significant” cluster between 1989 and 1999.
Despite the ruling, the council fails to acknowledge a “causal link” and will not issue a formal apology. Chief executive Chris Mallende stated:
We are not yet at the point of saying sorry because nobody yet is responsible. Our position has always been that there was no link between the reclamation work that was carried out in Corby in past decades and these children’s birth defects. That is still our position. We continue to sympathise with their circumstances. We regret that they have had to pursue this case over so many years and we, like they, would hope we can now draw this to a conclusion and everybody can move on.