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Toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune, associated with autoimmune disease

When the body's natural defense system cannot differentiate between your own cells and foreign cells, which causes the body to attack normal cells, autoimmune disease occurs. There are over 80 autoimmune diseases affecting a wide range of body parts. Exposure to toxic chemicals, which were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century, can result in autoimmune disease. For instance, trichloroethylene exposure has been associated with autoimmune disease among Marines.

Autoimmune disease occurs in over 23 million people nationwide at the moment. The exact cause of these health conditions is not completely known, but studies have found that some microorganisms and substances can cause changes in the body, confusing the immune system. These are the most common autoimmune diseases:

  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn's disease
  • lupus
  • psoriasis
  • multiple sclerosis
  • scleroderma
  • Graves' disease
  • myasthenia gravis
  • Hashimoto thyroiditis

Recent medical studies found that exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, carbon tetrachloride, benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene, some of which were present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, may contribute to the development of autoimmune disease. A study from Integrative Medicine reveals that environmental factors such as toxic agents are a key factor in the fast progression of autoimmune disease. Toxic metals, organic pollutants, solvents, and endocrine disruptors can do the following:

  • deplete antioxidant reserves
  • bind to endocrine and immune receptors and promote immune dysregulation
  • promote immune barrier degradation

Harmful agents such as mercury, dioxins, pesticides, trichloroethylene, and many other contaminants have been linked to autoimmunity in animal and human studies. They can cause oxidative stress and alterations of immune cell messenger systems. Moreover, toxic chemicals with endocrine-disrupting properties can bind to estrogen receptors, resulting in immune dysfunction. These mechanisms contribute to immune dysregulation and activation.

A strong connection between autoimmune disease and organic solvent exposure was found in a study from PLOS One. In autoimmune thyroid disease, solvents may interfere with iodine transportation and induce oxidative stress that triggers an inflammatory response in the thyroid gland. Research in this regard began in 1957 when several people developed a scleroderma-like syndrome following exposure to:

  • vinyl chloride
  • perchloroethylene
  • trichloroethylene

If you are a Camp Lejeune veteran or a family member of one struggling with autoimmune disease, we encourage you to get in touch with our team of professionals, who will gladly help you determine whether you are eligible to file a claim and obtain financial compensation for your suffering. We will thoroughly and carefully assess your case to find out whether you can file a Camp Lejeune water contamination claim.

File your Camp Lejeune autoimmune disease claim with our expert assistance

With over 35 years of experience in reviewing toxic exposure claims, our expert team is ready to help you determine whether you have a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim if you struggle with autoimmune disease. The only documents we will request to evaluate your case are your military records or evidence of your stay at the military base and your medical records. Eligible individuals will be put in touch with a reputable, specialized attorney.