Government Study Links Camp Lejeune Water to Additional Cancers

The investigation into the human health impact of the contaminated water supply at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune continues with a new study examining the cancer incidence among Marines and Navy personnel and civilian workers who were stationed at Camp Lejeune between October 1972 and December 1985 and were likely exposed to the contaminated drinking water at the base. The results of the government study are clear and convincing: The drinking water at Camp Lejeune was likely far more toxic than previously believed. 

ATSDR Study Exposes True Extent of Camp Lejeune’s Health Impact

The long-awaited Camp Lejeune cancer study was released earlier this year by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). It sheds more light on the devastating health impacts of this environmental disaster, which potentially exposed as many as one million military personnel and civilian workers to toxic chemicals like benzene, vinyl chloride (VC), trichloroethylene (TCE), and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The report, which was the result of one of the largest cohort studies ever conducted in the United States, revealed a stark reality: those stationed at Camp Lejeune during the period the water supply was contaminated had at least a 20% higher risk of developing certain cancers compared to their counterparts at Camp Pendleton in California.

Specific Cancers Linked to Contaminated Water Supply at Camp Lejeune

The ATSDR study found increased risks for a range of cancers, including thyroid cancer, esophageal cancer, squamous cell lung cancer, and male and female breast cancers. Additionally, the researchers observed elevated rates of leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the larynx, soft tissues, and kidney among Marines and Navy personnel exposed to the tainted water. Civilian workers at the base also exhibited a higher risk for myeloid cancers, as well as breast and lung cancer.

The Scope of the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Issue 

The scale of the Camp Lejeune water crisis is staggering. Estimates suggest that as many as one million individuals – including service members, their families, and civilian contractors – may have been exposed to the water at Camp Lejeune during the 34 years it was contaminated. The contamination was traced back to multiple sources, including industrial spills, leaking underground storage tanks, and improper waste disposal practices at the Hadnot Point and Tarawa Terrace water treatment plants.

The toxic chemicals found in the Camp Lejeune water supply have been linked to a wide range of serious health conditions, beyond just the increased cancer risks. These include aplastic anemia, Parkinson’s disease, birth defects, cardiac defects, female infertility, and various kidney and liver diseases. The exposure has had a particularly devastating impact on vulnerable populations, such as infants and young children, who were unknowingly subjected to these hazardous substances.

The Role of the U.S. Government in the Camp Lejeune Crisis

What makes the Camp Lejeune tragedy even more troubling is the fact that the U.S. government was aware of the water contamination for years, yet failed to take appropriate action or warn those affected. In the early 1980s, water testing at the base detected alarming levels of industrial solvents, yet the Marine Corps did not shut down the contaminated wells until 1985. Even then, it took until the late 1980s for the base to be added to the EPA’s Superfund list of hazardous waste sites.

Victims Seeking Recourse for Alleged Camp Lejeune Cancer Diagnoses

For decades, thousands of affected Marines, sailors, and their families have had their Camp Lejeune claims unfairly denied by the government, leaving them without recourse for the harm they have suffered. However, the recent passage of the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 has finally opened the door for those impacted to seek legal justice and financial compensation.

In the first month alone following the enactment of the Justice Act, more than 5,000 administrative claims were filed against the government, with estimates suggesting the total number of lawsuits could reach upwards of 200,000 or higher. Each case involves unique circumstances and health conditions, but they all share a common thread: the allegation that toxic chemicals in the water supply caused serious or even life-threatening problems.

Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Information

Camp Lejeune lawsuits are alleging a link between the military base's contaminated water supply and an increased risk of cancer and other serious health problems. Learn more by clicking on the button.
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