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The link between neurobehavioral effects and toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune

As conditions having to do with the way the brain communicates with the nervous system, neurobehavioral effects can manifest as emotional, behavioral, physical, or learning problems.

They can occur both in adults and children who spent time at Camp Lejeune when the drinking water was contaminated.

Brain injury, illness, or exposure to toxins, such as the harmful chemicals in the contaminated water at the military base, can cause neurobehavioral effects. The neurobehavioral effects' symptoms depend on how much damage the brain has sustained.

Some of the neurobehavioral effects of drinking toxic water at Camp Lejeune are the following:

  • trouble thinking clearly
  • mood swings
  • problems concentrating

People with neurobehavioral effects usually experience changes in mood, personality, attention, and memory. Other effects manifest as motor dysfunction, including coordination or balance problems. Certain toxic chemicals can severely affect the part of the brain controlling motor function and cause tremors and even Parkinson's disease. Neurobehavioral effects from exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune may last anywhere from a few minutes to several years. Mild effects from short-term exposure may be reversible, but severe damage from long-term exposure to high levels of chemicals may be permanent.

Other symptoms of neurobehavioral effects include:

  • anxiety
  • confusion
  • depression
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • learning disorders
  • tension
  • motor problems
  • tremors

The four toxic chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water supply were trichloroethylene, benzene, perchloroethylene, and vinyl chloride. According to a study from Environmental Research, "long-term exposure to low concentrations of trichloroethylene is associated with neurobehavioral deficits." On average, military personnel were stationed at Camp Lejeune for roughly 18 months. Marines at the military base could have drunk as much as one to two quarts of water per hour and showered twice a day during training, according to a Camp Lejeune report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Toxic water was also used in hospitals, schools, homes, and other areas of the military base, exposing civilians and family members.

There is strong evidence in the medical literature that exposure to trichloroethylene results in impairment of trigeminal nerve function in people exposed occupationally, by inhalation, or environmentally, by ingestion, the latter being the case of Camp Lejeune veterans and family members. Like most organic solvents, trichloroethylene can affect the brain the same way drinking alcohol does, causing headaches, nausea, dizziness, clumsiness, drowsiness, and other effects like those of being inebriated. The effects of short-term overexposure typically clear up within a few hours after you stop being exposed. As your exposure level increases or you are exposed for a longer time, the effects get stronger, occur more quickly, and last longer.

Most experts believe that repeated, frequent overexposure to organic solvents in general, over months or years, can have long-lasting and permanent effects on the nervous system. Unlike most other solvents, trichloroethylene can damage the nerves of the face. Vision, smell, taste, and sometimes control of the muscles of the face and mouth can be impaired. The solvent can also damage the nerves of the arms and legs, causing tingling, loss of feeling, weakness, and paralysis. Finally, a study from Sage Journals found that subjects exposed to trichloroethylene were significantly impaired when compared to referents for neurophysiological tests. These impairments referred to sway speed with eyes open and closed, blink reflex latency, eye closure speed, and two-choice visual reaction time.

If you came to struggle with neurobehavioral effects as a consequence of having drunk toxic water at Camp Lejeune during the last century, either as a Marine or a family member of one, we encourage you to contact our team of professionals, who can easily help you determine whether you are entitled to financial compensation for your unjust suffering. We will thoroughly evaluate your case to establish if you are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim. Because we understand how challenging suffering from neurobehavioral effects can be, we will strive to make the process as easy and simple as possible for you.

Atraxia Law can efficiently help you file your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim

With over 35 years of experience in reviewing toxic exposure claims, our expert team is ready to help you determine whether you are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim. The only documents we will need to assess your case are your military records or proof of your stay at the military base and your medical records. If we determine that you are entitled to compensation, we will direct you to a reliable, specialized attorney.