In the 1980s, the Marine Corps discovered that drinking water at the base had been contaminated for decades. The Marine Corps has maintained that there’s not enough evidence linking illnesses to contaminated water. However, numerous individuals have claimed health issues related to Camp Lejeune, and some veterans who served there have even been able to receive disability benefits from the VA.
Unfortunately, many of those affected by this contamination passed away before receiving compensation for their service-connected illnesses. This article will provide an overview of the Camp Lejeune water contamination issue and a list of diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in its water supply. We will also provide information about filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit. Let’s start!
Camp Lejuene Water Contamination
Camp Lejeune was established in 1942, and over the next several decades, it became the most extensive Marine Corps base in the country. The base supported over 200,000 military personnel and their families. In 1950, Camp Lejeune experienced a significant outbreak of hepatitis that led to an investigation of potential causes.
In 1953, chloroform was identified as one of several contaminants at Camp Lejeune; it had been used for degreasing machinery and cleaning equipment during World War II before scientists fully understood its toxicity. Chloroform was present in drinking water on-base until 1984 when a new filtration system was installed to remove the chemical from drinking water supply lines.
However, some contamination remained because chloroform evaporates more quickly than other contaminants like tetrachloroethylene (PCE) or trichloroethylene (TCE), which had already built up due to prolonged exposure contaminated wells. Hence, people stationed at the camp drank the pollutant water and developed several deadly diseases such as the ones listed below.
Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Cells in the bone marrow produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets that help prevent bleeding. Leukemia affects these cell types in ways that make them grow uncontrollably or fail to work correctly. While there are several different leukemia subtypes, there are two main categories: acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
ALL usually starts in early childhood but can also develop later; CLL usually begins after age 45. Both types can occur at any time, but symptoms generally become evident between ages 20 and 40 years old for the general population with no known risk factors for developing leukemic disorders such as exposure to harmful chemicals like those found on Camp Lejeune land where marines train regularly every year before being deployed overseas.
Aplastic Anemia and other Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Aplastic Anemia is a disease in which you cannot produce new blood cells, causing them to be low or absent. Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a disorder that can lead to severe illnesses such as aplastic anemia and leukemia. The symptoms of these diseases include fatigue and shortness of breath. Several factors can cause MDS, including exposure to toxic chemicals like benzene, smoking cigarettes or cigars regularly, and exposure to high radiation levels.
The prognosis for patients with MDS depends on the type of myelodysplasia they have developed; some types result in death within five years, while others do not progress into more severe blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma. Patients may receive treatment with medications that suppress their immune system, but these drugs often don’t work well enough alone without chemotherapy combined with them.
Bladder cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, accounting for about 17% of all cases. Women have a much lower risk of developing bladder cancer than men.
Bladder cancer is rare in women. It is usually associated with exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene and arsenic, which are found in some drinking water supplies when it does occur.
Smoking increases your risk of bladder cancer by 2-3 times the normal rate; this holds even if you don’t drink any contaminated water at Camp Lejeune while serving your service there!
Kidney cancer is a disease of the kidneys. It occurs when cells in one or both kidneys begin to grow abnormally and form tumors. Kidney cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States, accounting for 12% of all deaths from cancer. Each year, the number of new cases is approximately 56,000, with about 15,000 deaths attributed to this disease annually. Kidney cancer usually develops slowly over time.
Liver cancer is the most common form of cancer globally, but it’s not very common in the United States. Most people with liver cancer are diagnosed at least 50 years old. The main risk factors for developing liver cancer include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, alcohol consumption, and obesity.
Multiple Myeloma is a type of cancer that starts in the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell that make antibodies to fight infections. Multiple Myeloma begins when these plasma cells grow out of control and form tumors that crowd the bone marrow, interfering with its ability to make red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets (tiny pieces of blood cells that help clot your wounds). Multiple Myeloma is not common; it affects less than 1% percent of people in their lifetime.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, according to the National Cancer Institute. Its symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, and weight loss. The disease can be treated if caught early enough but rarely goes away completely once it develops.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative brain condition that results from a loss of brain cells in the substantia nigra, an area of the midbrain involved with controlling movement. The disease can result in tremors, rigidity, and slowness of movement. Parkinson’s disease is not a natural part of aging; it occurs when specific nerve cells die or become impaired by unknown factors.
Scientists have identified factors that may increase your risk for Parkinson’s disease, such as smoking or exposure to pesticides or other toxins. While there are no known ways to prevent Parkinson’s disease, some studies suggest that staying active may delay the symptoms.
Many More Diseases
The list of diseases associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination is growing. The Veterans Administration (VA) recognizes that the illnesses listed above are all connected to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune but has not yet approved them as service-related disabilities for veterans.
If you have been diagnosed with one of the diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, you may be eligible to file a claim for a settlement. To qualify for compensation under the CLWAC program, you must meet specific criteria:
- You must have been present at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 and been exposed to contaminated water.
- Your condition must be listed on the official list of diseases linked to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune by NCIS. This means that if it is not listed there, your condition cannot be compensated by this program.
- You must also prove that exposure caused your illness or disease and that it was not pre-existing or unrelated to why you developed it (e.g., lifestyle choices).
I hope this guide has helped you understand the types of diseases you may be eligible for compensation for if exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.