Iranian media report a possible correlation between the high incidence of birth defects in the village of Kazaz in Markazi Province and its proximity to heavy industrial and refinery facilities.

The Shahrvand daily reported on October 14, 2014, that these industries have not brought any prosperity to the residents of Kazaz, instead bringing “polluted air and soil, premature and dead infants and sick mothers.”

The report adds that many mothers in the village are having miscarriages or stillborn infants.

Kazaz officials say many of the children that are the same age as the industries in the region have low IQs and are enrolled in special education programs. The officials call for a focus on reducing pollutants released by these industries into the environment.

Officials also report high incidences of leukemia, miscarriages, neurological disorders and severe headaches.