We are available 24/7


The health effects of Camp Lejeune toxic water contamination

By now, it is a known fact that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds for nearly 35 years during the last century.

Roughly one million people lived at the military base while the water was toxic, and today, half of the veterans, family members, and civilians who spent time there struggle with the health effects of drinking contaminated water.

While the health effects of drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune are countless, there are some diseases and conditions that have a strong association with water contamination. The following are the conditions for which veterans and family members can file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim, as well as the conditions that have a strong connection with the chemicals present in the drinking water at the military base:

  • Bladder cancer: The drinking water at the military base was also contaminated with two solvents that have a strong connection with this disease - perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene.
  • Kidney cancer: According to a study, Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune have a 10% higher risk of dying from kidney cancer than those who spent time at Camp Pendleton.
  • Liver cancer: Vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene exposure increases the risk of developing liver cancer by 5 times in Camp Lejeune veterans. Exposure has a synergistic effect with other risk factors for liver cancer, such as excessive alcohol drinking.
  • Leukemia: Benzene, which was present in the drinking water at the military base, was found to cause chromosome changes in bone marrow cells in animal studies, changes that are also present in human leukemia cells. For decades, diesel fuel and gasoline have been discharged on military bases, including Camp Lejeune.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: Benzene, which was lurking in tremendous amounts in the drinking water at the military base, is one of the chemicals responsible for this cancer.
  • Multiple myeloma: Veterans who were stationed at Camp Lejeune have a 68% higher risk of developing multiple myeloma than those who lived at other military bases. Because the benzene metabolites impact hematopoietic stem cells, researchers found that exposure was associated with multiple myeloma.
  • Parkinson's disease: Trichloroethylene is one of the many industrial solvents that were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century. Exposure to it was found to increase the risk of Parkinson's disease by a whopping 70%.
  • Neural tube defects: According to medical studies, exposure to organic solvents throughout pregnancy increases the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect, which occurs when the neural tube, which forms the early brain and spine, fails to close properly.
  • Aplastic anemia: Roughly 1 in 100 Camp Lejeune veterans exposed to high benzene concentrations will develop aplastic anemia. The connection between benzene exposure and bone marrow suppression has been recognized since 1897. Leakage from underground fuel storage tanks was the main source of benzene contamination at Camp Lejeune.
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes: Benzene exposure is also the culprit behind myelodysplastic syndromes. Daily exposure to 10 ppm of benzene can cause myelodysplastic syndromes, which can, in turn, lead to the development of leukemia.
  • Cardiac defects: Also known as congenital heart disease, cardiac defects concern a wide range of problems regarding the heart of a newborn. Paternal solvent exposure can result in atrial septal defects and right ventricle outflow tract obstructions, two common cardiac defects.
  • Esophageal cancer: Exposure to hydrocarbons, benzene, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene might contribute to the occurrence of esophageal cancer.
  • Miscarriage: Solvent exposure contributes to miscarriage in Camp Lejeune veterans and family members who drank toxic water at the military base during the last century.
  • Neurobehavioral effects: Medical studies suggest that regular, high-level solvent exposure might be correlated with a syndrome of memory impairment, personality change, and neurological deficits called chronic toxic encephalopathy or solvent neurotoxicity. Vinyl chloride is one of the solvents present at Camp Lejeune that might be responsible for neurobehavioral effects.
  • Breast cancer: Drinking contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can result in both male and female breast cancer. Benzene and vinyl chloride have been shown to cause mammary tumors in mice.
  • Lung cancer: Camp Lejeune veterans and family members have a 40% higher risk of developing lung cancer. The researchers observed a strong association with lung cancer for people exposed to a combination of perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and dichloromethane.
  • Female infertility: High exposure to organic solvents is associated with reduced fertility in women, so female Camp Lejeune veterans and the spouses of male veterans might have a difficult time conceiving as a result of having drunk toxic water at the military base. While exposure to solvents may impair fertility of either gender, the evidence for female effects was stronger.
  • Appendix cancer: Occurring in appendix cancer, goblet cell carcinoid tumors, which are quite aggressive, appear to be the most common among veterans exposed to contaminated water. Researchers have made the connection between exposure to certain harmful substances and a higher risk of developing appendix cancer.
  • Bile duct cancer: According to medical studies, the solvents 1,2-dichloropropane and dichloromethane might be causative agents for bile duct cancer, which means they might promote the development of this disease. Furthermore, dioxin exposure is another risk factor for bile duct cancer.
  • Gallbladder cancer: Trichloroethylene exposure was found to increase the risk of developing gallbladder cancer among Camp Lejeune veterans. Additionally, exposure to methylene chloride implies a higher risk of gallbladder cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer: Exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons has a strong connection with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, a form of pancreatic cancer. Moreover, exposure to benzene is also a significant risk factor for this disease.
  • Brain cancer: Vinyl chloride exposure has a strong association with brain cancer in Camp Lejeune Marines and their family members. Chlorinated solvents, such as methylene chloride and perchloroethylene, have been suspected as a cause of glioma, a form of brain cancer.
  • Soft tissue sarcoma: Exposure to vinyl chloride is a significant risk factor for developing sarcomas of the liver. Moreover, exposure to dioxins, which is also associated with soft tissue sarcoma, might have also occurred at Camp Lejeune during the Vietnam War when Agent Orange was stored there.
  • Prostate cancer: Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune have a 14% greater risk of developing prostate cancer, the most common malignant disease among veterans. A study found a positive association between prostate cancer and exposure to benzene and ethylbenzene.
  • Oral cleft defects: A cleft lip occurs if the tissue making up the lip does not join completely before birth, whereas a cleft palate occurs if the tissue making up the roof of the mouth does not join completely. Maternal exposure to solvents increases the risk of having a baby with an oral cleft defect.
  • Fetal death: Exposure to organic solvents may increase the chances of experiencing fetal death, which is defined as the spontaneous intrauterine death of a baby at any time during pregnancy.
  • Hodgkin's lymphoma: Benzene exposure can greatly increase the risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma in Camp Lejeune veterans and family members. The researchers also observed a higher risk of the disease in people regularly exposed to toluene and xylene.
  • Ovarian cancer: Trichloroethylene exposure might significantly increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Additionally, benzene exposure might have a connection with ovarian cancer, according to medical studies.
  • Neurological effects: Considering that industrial solvents are neurotoxic, exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune can cause neurological effects, whose symptoms include paralysis, muscle weakness, poor coordination, loss of sensation, seizures, and confusion.
  • Autoimmune disease: Trichloroethylene exposure has been linked to autoimmune disease in veterans. Furthermore, exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene may contribute to the development of autoimmune disease.

If you struggle with any of the above diseases or conditions or if your child was born with a congenital defect as a result of living at Camp Lejeune, we encourage you to contact us, as you might be entitled to financial compensation. We have the necessary experience, resources, skills, and knowledge to offer you quality assistance in determining whether you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim. The process is simple and will require minimal involvement on your part, as we understand how overwhelming suffering from a serious disease can be.

File your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim with our expert assistance

With over 35 years of experience in evaluating toxic exposure claims, Atraxia Law is ready to help you find out whether you are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim. The only documents we will request to assess your case are your military records or evidence of your stay at the military base and your medical records. Eligible veterans and family members will be put in touch with a reliable attorney to have their claims filed.