Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Linked to Birth Defects
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water pollution at Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects and childhood cancers.
It is believed that a leaking underground fuel tank caused the chemical contamination of wells used for drinking water at Camp Lejeune. This underground tank may have leaked more than a million gallons of fuel over the years, as well as toxins from a nearby dry cleaning business, and other chemicals that were used for military operations on the base.
In 2013, a study by the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE – used in dry cleaning and as a degreaser), and benzene (a fuel component) in the well water at Camp Lejeune. The concentration of the chemicals in the water reached levels that were exponentially higher than what regulators consider to be safe today. Experts say it was some of the most highly contaminated drinking water ever discovered in the United States.
Study Links Water Pollution & Birth Defects
The ATSDR conducted a study on birth defects and childhood cancer to examine if exposure to the contaminants in the drinking water increased the risk of certain health conditions and birth defects. Their research included surveying mothers who were on base during any part of their pregnancy.
The study found that the water pollution at Camp Lejeune has been linked to birth defects and childhood cancers. It also confirmed a long-suspected link between chemical contaminants in tap water at the Marine Corps base and serious birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palates. Evidence also showed a slightly elevated risk of childhood cancers including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Contaminants in Camp Lejeune Water
According to CBS News, records reviewed by The Associated Press show military authorities continued to rely on the wells for years after testing suggested the water was contaminated. The most highly contaminated wells were closed in 1984 and 1985 after a round of more extensive testing found dangerous concentrations of toxins associated with degreasing solvents and gasoline.
A prior CDC study cited a February 1985 level for trichloroethylene of 18,900 parts per billion in one Lejeune drinking water well — nearly 4,000 times today’s maximum allowed health limit of 5 ppb. Testing also found high levels of benzene, a fuel additive.
On June 16, 2022, the United States Senate voted to pass the Camp Lejeune Justice Act. The bill enables servicemen, their families, and civilians who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune to file claims against the US government. It is expected to be signed into law by President Biden in the coming days.
From 1953 to 1987, drinking water at Camp Lejeune was heavily contaminated with harmful chemicals exposing millions to carcinogens. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act allows anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune to seek reparations for toxic water exposure.
We encourage anyone who was at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 to contact an attorney now. Do not wait and possibly miss out on the compensation you deserve.
Please contact us now to begin an investigation into your claim so that we can determine if you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Toxic Water Contamination Lawyers
Rikard & Protopapas is currently reviewing potential claims against Camp Lejeune. We are prepared to file claims on behalf of victims as soon as the bill becomes a law. Please contact our attorneys at 803-978-6111 or fill out our contact form to setup a free consultation.*
Helping to secure a meaningful future for those who have been injured or taken advantage of is what we do, and we do it well. Camp Lejeune victims and their families deserve compensation for their suffering, and our legal team is ready to fight for our clients.
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