The Long-Term Impact of Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water

Because Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water was not discovered until the 1980s, more than one million people were exposed to high doses of toxic chemicals during their stay at the base. Marines and other active-duty military, their families, and civilian workers who stayed or worked at the base for more than 30 days ingested enough to cause a variety of cancers and other illnesses. But the enduring effects of so many people poisoned by the water have yet to be determined.

long term impact of camp lejeune's contaminated water

While claims by veterans, their families, and former employees wind their way through the claims process, the prolonged consequences continue to show themselves in the people who survived the water at Camp Lejeune.

Veterans, Spouses, and Civilian Workers

Between 1953 and 1987, more than a million people spent time at Camp Lejeune. No one thought twice about the safety of the water and used it for drinking, bathing, and washing, never realizing the toxic exposure. While more than 65 chemicals were found, the most toxic were:

• Trichloroethylene (TCE)
• Tetrachorethylene (PCE)
• Vinyl Chloride
• Benzene

Camp Lejeune residents developed serious illnesses without an obvious cause. The illnesses continued after leaving the base. Today the VA recognizes several cancers and other medical conditions as directly related to water contamination.

The diseases from the base have left many with serious lifelong medical conditions that were not always recognized. Many veterans, former residents, and workers were left disabled and unable to work after their discharge or moving from the base. Other veterans, spouses, and children have died from their illnesses without recognition or assistance.

Camp Lejeune’s Children

Children of the Marines and civilians also shared the burden of illness inflicted by water contamination. Hundreds of families that lived and worked at Camp Lejeune suffered high rates of miscarriages, stillbirths, and childhood illnesses. Many women suffered multiple miscarriages during their time on the base with no explanation.

The ingestion of so many toxic chemicals led to serious birth defects if the babies made it to full term. Babies who were exposed to the contaminants in utero either died there or didn’t live long past birth. Even short-term exposure can lead to low birth weight, neural tube defects, and cleft palates. Infant mortality, miscarriage, and stillbirth were so frequent that a nearby plot of land became a cemetery designated as “Baby Heaven.” Graves detail their short lifespans, some just one day.

Older children who moved into Camp Lejeune with their parents did not escape the effects. Healthy children mysteriously developed serious illnesses after moving into base housing. Leukemia and other childhood cancers became common, and many children died. Others continued to live with illness or developed a condition like cancer as an adult. Many saw improvements after moving away from the base but continued to experience the effects of illness years into adulthood. As this population ages, the cost of their continued care will increase.

Contact The Herren Law Firm Immediately For Your Camp Lejeune Claim

For over 30 years, the Herren law firm has helped veterans and others with their benefit claims and appeals. We have extensive experience dealing with governmental agencies and the claims that are filed with them.

If you or someone you know became ill after being stationed at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with us immediately.

We’ve helped over 4,000 people, and we can help you as well. Contact us today by calling (713) 682-8194 or using our online contact form our consultation is free, and you won’t owe us a fee until we win your case.

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