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How Did The Water At Camp Lejeune Become Toxic?

Quick Answer

The water at Camp Lejeune became toxic due to the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and vinyl chloride. The contamination occurred from the 1950s through February 1985 and was primarily caused by leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites. The contaminants in the water have been linked to an increased risk of cancers, adverse birth outcomes, and other health effects for those living or working at the military base.

Introduction

Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps Base located in North Carolina, has been at the center of one of the most significant water contamination incidents in American history. For several decades, as many as one million military personnel and their families were exposed to toxic drinking water on the base.

The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune contained volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other harmful contaminants. These substances have been linked to serious health consequences for those who were exposed.

This blog post aims to provide comprehensive information about how exactly this once pristine source of drinking water became so dangerously polluted. By understanding the causes behind this environmental disaster, we can shed light on why it is crucial for victims to seek compensation if they qualify under specific criteria set by law.

It is important that individuals living or working at Camp Lejeune during certain periods are aware of what transpired with regards to their exposure and its potential impact on their well-being. Through knowledge comes empowerment – empowering affected individuals with accurate information regarding these events will enable them to make informed decisions moving forward.

The Contaminants in the Water

The water at Camp Lejeune became toxic due to the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that contaminated the drinking water supply. These VOCs included trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other contaminants.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a colorless liquid commonly used as an industrial solvent for degreasing metal parts.

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)

Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), also known as perchlorethylene or “perc,” is another colorless liquid widely used in dry cleaning processes and various manufacturing industries.

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a gas primarily utilized in producing polyvinyl chloride plastics.

The contamination originated from multiple sources within and around Camp Lejeune. One significant source was an off-base dry cleaning firm called ABC One-Hour Cleaners which disposed of waste improperly, leading to PCE contamination primarily affecting Tarawa Terrace’s water treatment plant.

Additionally, leaking underground storage tanks containing hazardous substances contributed to contaminating both groundwater wells supplying Hadnot Point’s water treatment plant with TCE being one of its primary pollutants along with benzene and degradation products derived from these chemicals’ breakdown over time.

This contamination occurred over several decades starting from the 1950s until February 1985 when measures were taken to address it effectively.

Impact on Health

Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has had severe health consequences for those who lived or worked at the base. The presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the drinking water, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other contaminants, has been linked to various adverse health effects.

Risk of Cancers

One of the most significant risks associated with exposure to these contaminants is an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers. Studies have shown that individuals exposed to the toxic water may face a higher likelihood of developing:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Leukemias (including myelodysplastic syndromes)
  • Liver cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • And many others

Other Serious Health Conditions

In addition to cancers, there are also several other serious health conditions that can result from exposure. These include:

  • Adverse birth outcomes, including miscarriages and cardiac birth defects
  • Neurobehavioral disorders like Parkinson’s disease
  • Systemic sclerosis/scleroderma
  • Lung diseases like lung cancer (if non-smoker)
  • Male breast cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Non-cardiac Birth Defects (eye defects, oral clefts, etc.)
  • And more

These findings are supported by extensive research conducted over decades, which clearly establishes a link between VOC contamination in drinking water and these specific health issues. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) has published numerous studies highlighting this connection. They provide valuable information about how prolonged exposure affects human bodies negatively.

It is important for anyone affected by this issue – whether they experienced symptoms themselves or if their loved ones suffered due to it – to be aware of possible legal recourse available through compensation claims. Those eligible must meet criteria set forth under the law to qualify for compensation. Victims who have been diagnosed with any of these injuries or conditions after exposure at Camp Lejeune may be eligible and should consider applying for a free claim review.

The impact on health from the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune cannot be understated. The long-term consequences can significantly affect individuals’ quality of life, as well as their families’. It is crucial that those affected understand their rights and seek appropriate legal assistance in pursuing justice and potential compensation.

Legal Implications and Compensation

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune has had significant legal implications, particularly for those who were exposed to the toxic drinking water. Victims of this exposure may be eligible for compensation if they meet certain criteria set by law.

Qualifying for Compensation

To qualify for a free claim review, individuals must have been diagnosed with one or more specific injuries after their exposure at Camp Lejeune. These injuries include:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemias (including myelodysplastic syndromes)
  • Liver cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Kidney disease (end-stage renal disease)
  • Systemic sclerosis/scleroderma
  • Cardiac birth defects
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Lung cancer (in nonsmokers)
  • Miscarriage
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Female infertility
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-cardiac birth defects (such as eye defects, oral clefts, neural tube defects, etc.)
  • Female breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Soft tissue cancer
  • Hypersensitivity skin disorder
  • Aplastic anemia

Alternatively, individuals can also apply if they have been diagnosed with any type of serious medical condition or injury not listed above.

It is important to note that meeting these criteria is crucial when seeking compensation. The law requires victims to provide evidence linking their diagnosis directly to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Seeking Legal Representation

For those who are eligible and wish to pursue compensation claims related to the water contamination issue at Camp Lejeune, it might be beneficial to seek legal representation from experienced attorneys specializing in environmental litigation cases. An attorney familiar with this area of law will guide you through the process and help ensure your rights are protected throughout your case.

Note: This content provides general information about eligibility criteria and mentions seeking legal representation without endorsing any particular lawyer or firm.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How many people were exposed to the contaminated water?

Answer:
As many as one million military and civilian staff, along with their families, may have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune. The contamination affected residents, civilian workers, Marines, and Naval personnel who lived or worked on the base during a specific period.

Question 2: How can I apply for a free claim review?

Answer:
To apply for a free claim review regarding exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you need to meet certain criteria set by law. You must have been diagnosed with one of several specified injuries after being exposed at Camp LeJeune. These include conditions such as Parkinson’s disease; kidney cancer; leukemias (all types); liver cancer; bladder cancer; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; multiple myeloma; kidney disease (end-stage renal disease); systemic sclerosis/scleroderma ; cardiac birth defects ; esophageal Cancer ; male breast cancer , lung Cancer(if nonsmoker) miscarriage hepatic steatosis(fatty Liver Disease), female infertility neurobehavioral effects Non-cardiac Birth Defects(eye defects oral clefts neural tube defect etc.) Female Breast Cancer CervicalCancer HodgkinsDisease Ovariancancer Prostatecancer Rectalcancr BrainCance Livrcirrhos Soft Tissue Cancr Hypersensitivity Skin Disorder Aplastic anemia OR alternatiely PC must be diagnosed wth another Injury not listed above.
You should consult legal professionals specializing in this matter who will guide you through the process of applying for compensation based on your individual circumstances.

Question 3: What types of health conditions are eligible for compensation?

Answer:
There is a range of health conditions that may qualify individuals for compensation if they were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These include Parkinson’s disease, kidney cancer, leukemias (all types), liver cancer, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma,end-stage renal disease systemic sclerosis/scleroderma cardiac birth defects esophageal Cancer male breastcancer lungCancer(if nonsmoker) miscarriage hepatic steatosis(fatty Liver Disease), female infertility neurobehavioral effects Non-cardiac Birth Defects(eye defects oral clefts neural tube defect etc.) Female Breast Cancer CervicalCancer HodgkinsDisease Ovariancancr Prostatecancre Rectalcance Brain Cancr Livrcirrhos Soft Tissue Canc Hypersensitivity Skin Disorder Aplastic anemia OR alternatiely PC must be diagnosed wth another Injury not listed above. It is important to consult legal professionals who can assess your specific case and determine if you meet the criteria for compensation.

Question 4: Is legal representation necessary for filing a claim?

Answer:
While it is not mandatory to have legal representation when filing a claim related to exposure at Camp Lejeune water contamination issue,it is highly recommended that you seek assistance from experienced attorneys specializing in this area of law. They possess the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate through complex processes involved in seeking compensation. Legal professionals will guide you throughout the entire process ensuring all necessary documentation and evidence are properly gathered while advocating on your behalf.

Question 5: What are the long-term effects of exposure to contaminated water?

Answer:
Exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune has been linked with various adverse health effects including increased risks of cancers such as kidney,cancers ,leukemias,multiplemylomas,liverbladdercancersandnon-hodgkinclymphomadiseases;birthdefectsandotherseriousmedicalconditions.The exact long-term impacts may vary depending on individual circumstances.However,the potential health consequences can be severe and may include chronic illnesses, organ damage,and developmental issues. It is important to consult with medical professionals who specialize in the specific conditions associated with exposure at Camp Lejeune for a comprehensive understanding of long-term effects on your health.

References

  1. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/sites/lejeune/background.html
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK215286/
  3. https://www.nyaccidentlawyer.com/how-did-the-water-at-camp-lejeune-become-contaminated/