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Cervical Cancer Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

Veterans who served on active duty at military bases & installations owned and/or used by the United States Armed Forces may have been exposed to toxic solvents or cleaning chemicals used for general maintenance. For instance, contaminated groundwater at Camp Lejeune can cause adverse health effects, including multiple types of cancer.

Although the VA has recognized the association between certain presumptive conditions and the contaminated groundwater at Camp Lejeune, many other illnesses, including cervical cancer, may also be associated with this toxic exposure.

At U.S. military installations, waste has been generated through activities such as the production, testing, cleaning, maintenance, use, and disposal of firefighting foam, weapons, explosives, vehicles, aircraft, ships, and electronic equipment, as well as base construction, maintenance, modification, daily operations, and closure weapons production.

Toxic substances present at these bases that can greatly increase the risk of developing cancer in those who were exposed to, include:

  • per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
  • trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • benzene
  • vinyl chloride

PFAS contamination has been linked to sites used for firefighting, like military installations, airbases, and civilian airports. These chemicals also enter the environment from manufacturing facilities. Because of their inability to degrade in the environment, PFAS substances can accumulate, leading to elevated levels in the groundwater near those sites.

Possible Associations Between TCE Exposure and Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cancerous cells of the cervix - the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina. Medical treatment depends on the stage of cervical cancer, with IV being the most severe stage. Prolonged or repeated exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) causes reproductive cancers (breast or cervix) according to peer-reviewed literature.

Until recently, the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry contended that TCE had little carcinogenic effect in humans, and is probably a co-carcinogen - that is, it enhances the carcinogenic effect of other substances to promote the formation of tumors. 

However, the US EPA now classifies TCE as carcinogenic to humans through all routes of exposure. The re-evaluation of trichloroethylene by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2014 resulted in a new classification in Group 1, carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient epidemiological evidence.

Although the use of TCE has been significantly curtailed, the damage had already been done - thousands of military personnel and their family members had already been exposed to the hazardous chemical compound.

Military bases that have Superfund sites with TCE contamination:

  • Yuma Marine Corps Air Station
  • Edwards Air Force Base
  • Castle Air Force Base
  • George Air Force Base
  • Moffit Naval Air Station
  • Jacksonville Naval Air Station
  • Mountain Home Air Force Base
  • Fort George G. Meade Army Base
  • Otis Air National Guard Base
  • Camp Edwards
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune
  • Griffiss Air Force Base
  • Plattsburg Air Force Base
  • Naval Air Development Center
  • Middletown Air Field
  • Memphis Defense Depot
  • McChord Air Force Base
  • Fairchild Air Force Base
  • Fort Lewis Logistics Center

Many of the above listed military bases did not have the contaminants except during specific time periods, and, while not every service member may have been exposed, if you were stationed at any of these military bases & installations and have an illness associated with one of the toxins, it is a good idea to check with a legal practitioner about possible eligibility of filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you were stationed at one of the targeted military bases and experience the following symptoms, we strongly advise you to seek immediate medical attention, as you may have developed cervical cancer as a consequence of exposure to different types of contaminants while serving on active duty.

  • unusual bleeding
  • unexplained, persistent pelvic pain
  • problems urinating or having a bowel movement
  • weight loss
  • fatigue

If You Stationed at U.S. Military Bases & Installations, and Are Now Diagnosed With Cervical Cancer, We Can Help You

Call Atraxia Law today, if you are a veteran or a family member who was stationed at one of the contaminated military bases for at least one year and developed severe disease. We offer quality legal assistance for veterans and family members harmed by life-threatening levels of toxic exposure on military bases.

We will explain your legal options, and help you pursue the best solution. In order to receive compensation, it is necessary to show that you stationed on one of the contaminated military installations for at least one year and developed cervical cancer.

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