It started decades ago. From 1953 through 1987, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune had a problem. A big problem. Not only was their drinking water unsafe … it was downright dangerous. The water was contaminated with plastics, pesticides, and other dangerous materials. Anyone exposed to this toxic water was at an increased risk of developing cancer and other diseases.
Even more concerning? The government did not fix the problem.
How serious was exposure to the toxic water?
Experts found four dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals in this water: trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride. It is important to note that the exposure concern applies to anyone at the base. This means although exposure included veterans, it also reached out beyond our servicemembers to include their families as well as civilian workers.
Because the levels of these four toxins were so high, a dangerous exposure rate was possible for those who lived or worked at the camp for as little as a month.
Illnesses connected to exposure include:
- Cancer. Victims report the development of bladder, liver, lung, kidney, breast, esophageal, and other cancers because of exposure.
- Birth defects. Mothers exposed while pregnant also report having children with birth defects.
- Miscarriage and infertility. Women at the base at that time also reported an increased rate of miscarriage or long-term issues with fertility.
- Parkinson’s disease. The toxins are also known to lead to neurological diseases like Parkinson’s.
This list does not encompass all the possible diseases that can result from exposure. Symptoms of exposure and illness development can be different for each individual exposed to these toxins.
What options are available?
Our legal system is set up to allow victims to hold the responsible party accountable