Birth Defects Plague Tiny California Town

"Probably in the future I will want to have another one. I am scared because I am going to be worried if it's going to come out OK or if she's going to be OK. I'm always going to have a fear she's going to come out the same way Maria did," she said. "I want them to study the water, the air so we can have an answer to our questions and a solution to our problem."

Some of the residents say they want to leave Kettleman City. Others are bound by family obligations and fear that their undocumented status will cause problems if they try to settle elsewhere.

Romero and her husband are among those who have considered leaving town. They've lived in Kettleman City for 14 years.

"We knew that the dump was here with the toxic waste, but I didn't know it would harm us. I didn't know it was possible," she said. "I had my other children, and they're all healthy and suddenly the baby was born this way."

So for now, they try to do the best they can to keep their families healthy.

Alatorre said they drive up to 40 minutes to buy bottled water for drinking because the tap water smells and is not clear.

"I used to use it to wash fruits, to cook. I didn't know we shouldn't use it," she said. "But after my son was born, I said, 'No, I can't use this water.'"

Residents successfully petitioned against Chemical Waste Management's proposal to accept radioactive waste, but last month People for Clean Air and Water and Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice jointly filed a lawsuit to challenge the county's approval of a expansion of the landfill.

"If they make it bigger, imagine!" Alatorre said. "We're asking only that they don't expand. We're not asking for money or anything else. All we want is clean air and water."

ABC News' Suzan Clarke contributed to this report.

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