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Miscarriage, a major health threat to women who spent time at Camp Lejeune

Miscarriage is defined as fetal death in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy and occurs in 10% to 15% of pregnant women. The causes of miscarriage range from uterine or cervical problems to smoking and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Still, miscarriage can also be caused by toxic exposure, specifically to teratogens, which were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century. Exposure to teratogens can result in fetal abnormalities, but it can also lead to miscarriage.

Once a pregnant woman is exposed to a teratogen from drinking water, for instance, the chemical will enter her bloodstream and potentially affect the fetus, eventually causing a miscarriage. These are the solvents that were present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune in tremendous concentrations between 1953 and 1987, which are also teratogens:

  • trichloroethylene
  • benzene
  • perchloroethylene

A study from the British Journal of Industrial Medicine examined the pregnancy outcome of 71 women, 24 of whom had been exposed to solvents in occupational settings. Of the participants, 33% experienced a miscarriage, while only 19% who had not been exposed to solvents had one. In another study of 155 pregnancies in women exposed to solvents on the job, the rate of miscarriage was 18%, in contrast to only 7% in the control group.

Prenatal trichloroethylene exposure via consumption of drinking water may increase the risk of miscarriage

Trichloroethylene crosses the placenta and can affect the developing fetus. Some studies found that fetal exposure during the early part of the first trimester was associated with a higher risk of certain heart defects. Furthermore, exposure to the solvent can be responsible for central nervous system defects, neural tube defects, and oral cleft defects, in addition to miscarriage. Developmental experimental animal studies have focused on trichloroethylene exposure during pregnancy, and observed effects include increased fetal loss. A higher incidence of miscarriage was associated with occupational exposure of mothers to trichloroethylene in one study.

Exposure to perchloroethylene, another industrial solvent that was present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, can also impact the outcome of a pregnancy. The current medical literature indicates that high perchloroethylene exposure levels in occupational settings may increase the risk of pregnancy loss but does not provide strong evidence of an overall increased risk of pregnancy loss from exposure to contaminated drinking water. Nevertheless, perchloroethylene exposure may contribute to the high rate of miscarriage occurring in Camp Lejeune female Marines and the wives of male veterans.

If you were stationed at the military base and worry you might be experiencing a miscarriage, these are the symptoms you should look out for and for which you should seek medical assistance right away:

  • pain or cramping in the pelvic area or lower back
  • rapid heartbeat
  • tissue or fluid passing from the vagina
  • bleeding from the vagina with or without pain

Are you a Camp Lejeune female veteran or the spouse of a male veteran who experienced a miscarriage? If so, we advise you to get in touch with our team of professionals, who will gladly help you find out whether you are eligible to file a claim and recover the financial compensation you deserve for your suffering. Because we understand how difficult going through a miscarriage can be, we will do all in our power to simplify the process so that it will require minimal involvement from you. This way, you will be able to continue focusing on your health and treatment.

Atraxia Law can efficiently help you file your Camp Lejeune miscarriage claim

With over 35 years of experience in reviewing toxic exposure claims, our expert team has the necessary resources and knowledge to assist you in filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim. The only documents we will request to assess your case are your military records of evidence of your stay at the military base and your medical records. Eligible women will be put in touch with a reputable attorney to have their claims filed.