Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Water contamination from 1953 to 1987 at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina has been linked to cancer, heart disease, miscarriages, neurobehavioral effects, and other serious health problems.

A new law, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (part of the Honoring Our PACT Act), allows people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune to file lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries caused by the contaminated water on-base – even if they were exposed decades ago.

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What Was in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a pair of on-base wells at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with the following chemicals:

  • Benzene
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE), also known as tetrachloroethylene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Other compounds

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) consider TCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene to be carcinogenic, meaning they cause cancer in humans. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified PCE as a likely carcinogen.

What Caused the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated by the waste disposal practices of ABC One-Hour Cleaners, an off-base dry cleaning company. Sources of the water contamination included industrial area spills, leaking underground storage tanks, and waste disposal sites.

What Years Was the Water Contaminated at Camp Lejeune?

The Camp Lejeune water contamination is believed to have occurred from 1953 to 1987. The two most contaminated on-base wells were shut down in 1985, but there may have been residual contamination for some time after.

Is Camp Lejeune Still Contaminated?

The contaminated wells at Camp Lejeune were shut down in 1985, so the water should no longer be contaminated. That said, the contamination that occurred from the early 1950s until the mid-1980s could still have serious health effects for U.S. Marine Corps veterans, on-base staff, and their families today.

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What Diseases Are Associated With Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Here are some of the adverse health conditions that Camp Lejeune contaminants may cause:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Birth defects/congenital disabilities
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Dental issues
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Infertility
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

See below for more information on some of these conditions.

Neurobehavioral Effects From Camp Lejeune

Neurobehavioral effects are caused by the nervous system not functioning the way it should. For people who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, these effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches
  • Inability to focus
  • Insomnia
  • Poor motor skills
  • Other neurobehavioral difficulties

Dental Issues From Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Some veterans who served at Camp Lejeune say that the contaminated water caused their teeth to deteriorate, break, or even fall out. In some cases, the water allegedly eroded their enamel (the outer covering of the tooth), forcing them to have their teeth extracted.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Heart Disease

Former residents and employees of Camp Lejeune — and their children — have also complained of heart conditions, such as the following:

  • Congenital heart defect
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Faulty or leaky heart valve
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia (dangerously fast heart rate)

Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Water Lawsuit?

If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987, and you or a loved one has developed cancer or another health condition as a result, you may qualify for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

Even if you were exposed to the Camp Lejeune water decades ago, Congress’s recent passage of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act/Camp Lejeune Justice Act may entitle you to compensation for your injuries.

It’s not too late to secure your family’s financial future. Contact us today to speak with an experienced attorney and see if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

How Much Are Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Settlement Amounts?

Though no Camp Lejeune lawsuits have been settled yet, other notable water contamination lawsuits have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements:

  • Hoosick Falls, NY: $65 million
  • Petersburgh, NY: $23 million
  • Tennessee River: $12 million

While those water contamination lawsuits were class actions, and most Camp Lejeune lawsuits will be filed as individual personal injury claims, the fact remains that many people who suffered serious injuries like cancer could be owed significant compensation.

How Do I File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

If you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987, and you or a loved one has suffered an injury that may be linked to the water contamination there, we can connect you with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney who may be able to help you pursue justice.

Thanks to a new law, even if you were exposed to Camp Lejeune’s water 60 or 70 years ago, you could still be owed money. The top law firms in our nationwide network have the resources and experience to get you the most compensation available. Importantly, they never charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees – they only get paid if your case is successful.

Get a free, no-obligation consultation to see if you qualify for a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

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12 ReferencesView Sources
  1. Abubey, F. and Basye, L. "Veteran exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune suffers skin lesions, loses teeth and legs." 11Alive News. September 23, 2019. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.11alive.com/article/news/investigations/the-reveal/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/85-006417bf-0318-46c2-95bf-6c3cfaa58ee2
  2. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "Camp Lejeune, North Carolina." September 25, 2019. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/
  3. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "ATSDR Assessment of the Evidence for the Drinking Water Contaminants at Camp Lejeune and Specific Cancers and Other Diseases." January 13, 2017. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/docs/atsdr_summary_of_the_evidence_for_causality_tce_pce_508.pdf
  4. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). "Trichloroethylene - ToxFAQs." June 2019. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tfacts19.pdf
  5. Associated Press. "Judge Approves $65M Settlement in Polluted Water Lawsuit." February 5, 2022. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/new-york/articles/2022-02-05/judge-approves-65m-settlement-in-polluted-water-lawsuit
  6. Earls, M. "3M to Pay $12 Million to Settle Alabama Water Contamination Suit." Bloomberg Law. October 27, 2021. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/3m-to-pay-12-million-to-settle-alabama-water-contamination-suit
  7. Minnesota Department of Health. "Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and Drinking Water." July 2014. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/risk/docs/guidance/gw/tetpercinfo.pdf
  8. National Cancer Institute. "Vinyl Chloride - Cancer-Causing Substances." February 17, 2022. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/vinyl-chloride
  9. News10. "Petersburgh reaches $23M settlement with Taconic over PFOA contamination." October 1, 2021. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.news10.com/news/rensselaer-county/petersburgh-reaches-23m-settlement-with-taconic-over-pfoa-contamination/
  10. StarNews Online. "Victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination share their stories." April 28, 2018. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.starnewsonline.com/story/news/environment/2018/04/28/victims-of-camp-lejeune-water-contamination-share-their-stories/12369301007/
  11. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "Camp Lejeune: Past Water Contamination." (n.d.) Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/camp-lejeune/
  12. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). "Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Health Issues." March 7, 2022. Retrieved on June 15, 2022 from https://www.va.gov/disability/eligibility/hazardous-materials-exposure/camp-lejeune-water-contamination/

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