Camp Lejeune well water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds such as benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The contamination lasted from 1953 to 1987.
Thousands of Marines and their family members suffered severe health problems because of the contamination. A new law signed by Congress allows them to file claims. Learn more about Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Claims.
Sources of Contamination
Despite decades of research, we have yet to conclusively establish a direct link between the Camp Lejeune water contamination and various health conditions. However, additional studies shouldn’t delay efforts to address the problem.
The most common contaminants found in the tainted water at Camp Lejeune are trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride. These volatile organic compounds are commonly used in dry cleaning, and they seeped into the base’s water wells through improper disposal techniques.
These chemicals are known to cause serious illnesses, including esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, scleroderma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They can also cause reproductive disorders like infertility and miscarriage. Those affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune have suffered in ways that no one should have to. As such, they deserve compensation to help with their medical bills and other financial burdens. A new law allows veterans, reservists, and family members who suffer from one of the 15 qualifying diseases to file a claim for disability benefits.
When contaminated water is consumed, the toxins enter the body and cause many serious symptoms. For example, cancers linked to Camp Lejeune contamination can be very difficult to diagnose. The water at the base contained high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). These chemicals are able to cause numerous physiological problems including liver damage, nervous system issues, and gastrointestinal distress.
The longer Marines stayed at the base, the more exposure they had to these dangerous contaminants. Families who lived with their deployed Marines also faced significant exposure.
Some of the more obvious symptoms associated with contaminated Camp Lejeune water include a decline in cognitive abilities, behavioral changes, and fatigue. However, it is important to note that symptoms may not appear for decades after exposure to the toxins. This makes it especially important for those affected to see their doctor and get a diagnosis early. They can then take action to obtain compensation. Thousands of claims have been filed and some are in the process of being settled.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) determined Camp Lejeune’s drinking water was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from 1953 through 1987. These dangerous chemicals are known to cause serious health issues, including respiratory problems and cognitive disorders.
These chemicals included benzene, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, which can all cause cancer after prolonged exposure. The toxins were found in the water supply from two primary sources on the base, Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point. Both of these wells supplied water to residential areas of the base, where families lived.
The contamination was the result of a series of mistakes and failures at Camp Lejeune, and many high-ranking military officials were aware of the problem. However, they prioritized the needs of the base and made no effort to warn affected families or take immediate action. A Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit may result in compensation for those harmed by these toxic chemicals.
Many veterans have suffered from toxic exposure to dangerous chemicals at the Camp Lejeune base. These hazardous chemicals were introduced into the water supply through a number of factors, including an off-base dry cleaner’s poor waste disposal practices. Industrial area spills and leaking underground storage tanks also contributed to the contamination of the drinking water.
Scientific and medical evidence has linked contaminated Camp Lejeune water to several diseases, including childhood cancers, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, liver cancer, and birth defects. Unfortunately, for decades, the military did not take action to address the tainted water.
Since 2010, more than 20,000 veterans have filed Camp Lejeune lawsuits or administrative claims. This is one of the largest mass litigations in United States history. Without a clear plan to handle the cases, it is unclear when and how the government will be able to provide justice for victims. Thousands of additional lawsuits are expected to be filed over the next decade.