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Senate Adopts Resolution Designating National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

On September 8, the Senate approved, by unanimous consent, a resolution (S. Res. 647) designating September 9, 2008, as National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day.

Sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are the leading cause of cognitive disability in western civilization, including the United States, and are 100 percent preventable;
  • the incidence rate of fetal alcohol syndrome is estimated at one out of 500 live births and the incidence rate of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is estimated at one out of every 100 live births;
  • although the economic costs of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are difficult to estimate, the cost of fetal alcohol syndrome alone in the United States was $5 billion in 2003 and it is estimated that each individual with fetal alcohol syndrome will cost taxpayers of the United States between $1.5 million and $3 million in his or her lifetime; and
  • fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are a major cause of numerous social disorders, including learning disabilities, school failure, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, unemployment, mental illness, and crime.
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