Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Compensation

Chemicals in Drinking Water | Goldberg, Persky, and White P.C.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Compensation

People stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune could be entitled to compensation. The base’s water supply was contaminated with volatile organic compounds including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, benzene, and other contaminants. Chemicals were found in the water supply in 1982 after a dry-cleaning business that was located off the base disposed of chemicals improperly and chemicals leaked into the water supply. The septic tank system also leaked PCE into the groundwater. The chemicals then leaked into the water treatment plant that served a housing community that had 6,200 residents.

Marines were told in a letter from the Army that its water was highly contaminated with low molecular weight halogenated hydrocarbons. It took five years for the Marine Corps to shut down contaminated wells despite multiple warnings. ABC Cleaners is responsible for this contamination because it dumped its waste into forests, roads, waterways, empty lots, and makeshift dumps. When it rained, the waste was taken from dumping spots to the barracks, houses, trailers, offices, and schools where it was then ingested.

It was declared by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that water at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s through 1985 exposed people to trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and other chemicals that can increase the chance that someone gets cancer. Benzene, a known carcinogen, was also found in the water. The guideline for benzene created by the EPA is zero parts per billion in public drinking water, and at Camp Lejeune, the benzene levels measured up to 380 parts per billion.

Exposure to the different chemicals at Camp Lejeune can lead to many different cancers and illnesses. Exposure to TCE can lead to kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cardiac defects, leukemia, liver cancer, multiple myeloma, end stage renal disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Scleroderma. When exposed to PCE people can develop bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and end stage renal disease. Benzene is another harmful carcinogen that primarily causes leukemia, specifically acute myeloid leukemia, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It can also cause multiple myeloma. These chemicals can cause other issues including birth defects, miscarriage, fetal death, low birth weight, and other cancers.

If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune, you could be entitled to compensation. Exposure to chemicals like trichlorethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride can lead to many different types of cancer and other illnesses. If you or a loved one have cancer or another illness that that may have been caused by drinking the water at Camp Lejeune, contact us at 412-471-3980 or fill out our contact form to see if you could be entitled to compensation.

Sources:
“Health Effects Linked with Trichloroethylene (TCE), Tetrachhloroethylene (PCE), Benzene, and Vinyl Chloride Exposure” ATSDR [Link]
“How Did Camp Lejeune Water Get Contaminated?” The Legal Examiner (July 12, 2022). [Link]
Lori Lou Freshwater, “WHAT HAPPENED AT CAMP LEJEUNE” Pacific Standard (August 21, 2022). [Link]
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