Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Umer Malik
You or a loved one may have been contacted recently or sent news articles by online algorithms about an incident involving the water at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina, between 1957 and 1985. Getting to the bottom of what you need to know about this incident can be challenging, especially when so much of the information you see in your email inbox can seem like spam or a phishing scheme. This guide can give you the basics of what happened, how health and wellness can be affected, and what resources are available to those impacted by the incident.
Marine Corps Camp Lejuene and the adjacent Marine Corps Air Station are located on either side of New River by Jacksonville, North Carolina. Eight water treatment plants service them. In 1982, contaminants were discovered in the water from two of these plants and traced back to leaky underground storage tanks, improper disposal of dry cleaning chemicals by an off-base facility, and on-base spills. The wells supplying this contaminated water were closed in 1985. Still, the impact on the health of those in the base hospital, housing units, schools, offices and recreational areas is estimated to have begun in 1957. The Camp Lejuene Justice Act of 2021 offers those affected by the contaminated water the ability to sue and recover damages. You can find Camp Lejeune resources and information from veterans’ associations and law firms helping victims seek justice.
How Are People Affected?
Four main compounds were identified as part of the water contamination: vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene and perchloroethylene (PCE). These compounds have various uses, which include cleaning machine parts, manufacturing plastics and pesticides. Medical conditions associated with exposure to these compounds include bladder, kidney, and liver cancers, Parkinson’s disease and Adult Leukemia. Exposure for as little as thirty cumulative days can be linked to those medical issues as well as miscarriage, female infertility and much more.
What Can You Do?
Since the passing of HR 2192 or the Camp Lejuene Justice Act of 2021, those who spent thirty or more days on base between August 1953 and December 1987 may be eligible to sue for damages and medical expenses related to linked issues. It is important to note that military personnel, their families and any civilian contractors working on the base during this time may all be eligible. There are several law firms assisting victims with class-action lawsuits, and you may be able to work with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to find further resources and coverage for ongoing medical care.
Contaminated water supplied to various areas of Marine Corps Camp Lejeune, and the Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, between 1953 and 1987 has been linked to multiple severe medical conditions, including leukemia and several types of cancer. The Camp Lejuene Justice Act of 2021 allowed those affected to sue and recover damages associated with linked conditions. You can find further information and resources through the Department of Veterans Affairs and law firms working with those affected by this incident.
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