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Scleroderma Due to Toxic Exposure on Military Bases

Regardless of the veteran’s role in the military, or whether they were with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, Marines, and so forth, different types of toxic exposure may have occurred. A review of major military facilities scattered throughout the U.S. uncovers evidence of widespread environmental contamination resulting from past practices including:

  • soil
  • sediment
  • groundwater
  • surface water pollution with per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances
  • radioactive isotopes
  • heavy metals
  • volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds
  • PCBs
  • fuels
  • oil
  • grease

Contamination found at U.S. military installations, in many cases spreading to surrounding communities, threatens public health. Waste has been generated through activities such as the production, testing, cleaning, maintenance, use, and disposal of weapons, explosives, vehicles, aircraft, ships, and electronic equipment, as well as base construction, maintenance, modification, daily operations, and closure weapons production, or waste.

At many military bases, the contamination is so severe that these sites are now designated Superfund sites by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meaning they need immediate and intense cleanup.

The hazardous chemicals in which the EPA considers for superfund sites are known causes of sclerodermachronic disease that affects the body by hardening connective tissue.

At Atraxia Law, we boast decades of experience helping veterans with disability claims, and we can help you too. If you believe that you were exposed to toxic materials while on active duty and that exposure led to injury or illness, then you are entitled to seek compensation. 

Environmental Factors Can Put People at Great Risk of Developing Scleroderma

For decades, the damage from the contaminated water has slowly crept into the lives of thousands of military service members and civilians such as family members of military officers living on military bases, causing a horrific range of health problems.

Scleroderma is one of the 15 health conditions covered by the VA for Camp Lejeune veterans and the family members who lived with them on the site. Although Camp Lejeune is said to be one of the worst cases of water contamination in the nation’s history, it’s far from the only toxic military base.

There are currently over 130 military installations on the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Superfund sites - places so contaminated with hazardous substances that the federal government has placed them on the list of sites of national priority for cleanup (NPL), including:

The Department of Defense is responsible for cleanup at 129 National Priority List (NPL) - over 80 percent of federal facilities (buildings, installations, structures, land, public works, equipment, aircraft, vessels, other vehicles, and property) on the NPL.

Scleroderma, also known as systemic sclerosis, is an autoimmune, rheumatic, and chronic disease featuring thickened skin that can involve scarring, blood vessel problems, varying degrees of inflammation, and pain. There are no specific genes that are thought to cause scleroderma; the disease can be induced by a number of chemical compounds, such as trichloroethylene, polyvinyl chloride, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, and toluene. 

We Can Help You Receive Medical Care and Disability Benefits

If you are a veteran exposed to dangerous or toxic chemicals while serving in the military and have a significant health problem, it’s worth investigating whether VA benefits related to water contamination at military bases may be available for you. 

Paying out-of-pocket for significant long-term health conditions can be an enormous challenge for your family.  If you think you might be eligible to file a claim and want to be sure, please give us a call. 

Our case managers would love to help you get access to the resources you need to pay for care. For a completely free consultation with us to learn more about your rights, we welcome you to contact us online or give us a call.

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