Many Camp LeJeune Babies Are Over 50 Years Old

Its a gross but simple fact. Camp Lejeune babies were exposed to the contaminants. So much of the public’s understanding on Camp Lejeune water contamination victims has been focused on adults,  military personnel, primarily U. S. Marines or workers on the base.

But that is only part of the story. Because the contaminants were in the water supply for years before it was discovered, the many Marine families and the Camp Lejeune workers’ families  had babies, babies who grew up drinking that water along with their parents and siblings. Many were born on the base or were exposed while living with their families from the 1950’s on when the contaminants were in the water supply.

mother visiting camp le jeune babies in Baby Heaven

Like the adults, they were unknowingly exposed to the highly toxic water before they were born and while they were children.

Birth Defects

The water was contaminated from from 1953 until 1987 when it was acknowledged and the base was shut down. Throughout this period, it is estimated that at least a million people passed through Camp Lejeune. Many were married Marines who began families or added to their families while there.

The continual exposure to toxins causes considerable damage to a developing fetus. These Camp Lejeune babies and children experienced a wide variety of serious illnesses, including birth defects that led to lifelong illnesses, including:

• Anencephaly, where a baby is missing part of the brain or skull
• Childhood cancers, such as:

o Leukemia
o Lymphoma
o Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

• Heart defects
• Spina bifida

The oldest surviving children would be around 70 years old at this point. Most would be over the age of 50, with the youngest about 36 years of age.


The contamination was finally acknowledged after the discovery of contamination in 1982. The Marine Corps did not shut down the source until 1987, leaving five more years of toxic water for base residents.

The illnesses and deaths were not acknowledged to be from the water until much later. That means the children who did make it to adulthood lived with these illnesses. Many may have been unable to work and are considered disabled. Others may have had their lives cut short by the chronic illnesses they acquired at Camp Lejeune.

Infant Death

Of all the babies and children exposed to the water contamination, many didn’t survive. Babies who were exposed in utero were miscarried or stillborn. Their mother’s exposures passed the chemicals to their babies during the pregnancies. There isn’t a full accounting of how many children were sickened or died from the contamination exposure.

One section of the Jacksonville City Cemetery near Camp Lejeune is an area where babies that died while at the base are buried. Some graves have the infant’s full names, and some are just called “Baby Boy/Girl” with a last name. Some lived a few years while some didn’t last a full day. So many children died at the facility that the area became known as “Baby Heaven.”

Family Members Can Make a Camp Lejeune Claim

Until recently, only veterans could request help through the VA for their medical conditions. After the signing of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, family members and civilian workers can now file a claim for compensation due to the harm they suffered from the contaminated water. As surviving adults, Camp Lejeune “babies” can make a claim. If you have suffered any illness that may be due to toxic exposure from Camp Lejeune water, contact the Herren Law firm for help filing a claim.

There is a deadline currently for filing so do not delay. The deadline for filing a lawsuit is within two years from when the Act was approved in August of 2022, so it’s vital to start your claim immediately.  At Herren Law, we are prepared to help you file a claim.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people with Social Security Disability, Veterans Disability and Long Term Disability over the years, and we have turned a major focus to help Camp Lejeune victims as well.

Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form. A consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

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