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Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer

In December of 2012, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acknowledged that military service members and their families who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 were exposed to harmful levels of toxic chemicals, including trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride.

As a result of this contamination, many veterans and civilians have developed serious illnesses, including kidney cancer. Were you or a family member stationed at Camp Lejeune decades ago and have since been diagnosed with kidney cancer? You may be eligible for compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

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Contact the personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to learn more about your legal options for veterans’ benefits. We are here to help you seek justice and the compensation you deserve.

Call our product liability attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

The Deadly History of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Since the early 1980s, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina has been home to one of the largest US military bases. In 2008, mortality studies conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) revealed that there may have been widespread water contamination at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987, leading to long-term health consequences.

A National Research Council (NRC) report estimated that as many as a million people may have been exposed to past contamination in the water, including benzene, vinyl chloride, and perchloroethylene. Tragically, this exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune has resulted in severe health complications for many former military base residents, including kidney cancer.

US Marines and their family members each year report an estimated 2,000 new cancer cases. Many of these cancers – including leukemia, breast, bladder, and kidney cancer – may be linked to exposure to toxic chemicals in the base's water supply during that time.

Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer and Chronic Kidney Disease Statistics

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on cancer rates at Camp Lejeune. The results were alarming, with kidney cancer rates being six times higher than the national average.

The public health report examined data from active duty personnel, civilian employees, and their families. Previous public health studies showed that those stationed at Camp Lejeune for at least a year were more likely to develop kidney cancer than those who had not.

The link between Camp Lejeune and kidney cancer is believed to result from contaminated water on the base. For years, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was heavily polluted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic chemical solvents.

The scientific evidence and environmental health studies are understandably concerning for anyone who may have been stationed at Camp Lejeune or lived in one of its housing areas between 1957 and 1987. While more research is needed to determine the cause of this increase, affected victims can take some steps to protect their health.

For example, getting regular check-ups and informing your doctor about your history at Camp Lejeune are necessary.

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What Caused Camp Lejeune Chronic Kidney Disease?

Since the 1980s, many veterans and their families have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease after exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Though the Marine Corps has acknowledged that the water was polluted with hazardous chemicals, they have refused to recognize a link between the disease and the contamination.

Further Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing revealed that the water supply at the base was contaminated with many VOCs, including:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Benzene
  • Vinyl chloride

The contamination is believed to have originated from several sources, including leaking underground storage tanks, dry cleaners, and above-ground tanks.

While the exact cause of the contamination is still not completely understood, it is clear that exposure to these VOCs can have serious health consequences, including kidney damage. As a result of this contamination, many military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease.

While the water at Camp Lejeune has since been cleaned up, the damage to the health of those exposed to the contaminated water is still being felt today.

Trichloroethylene (TCE)

Previous studies have found an elevated risk of bladder cancer among military personnel exposed to trichloroethylene (TCE). TCE is a volatile, colorless liquid organic chemical used primarily to make refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons and as a degreasing solvent for metal equipment.

TCE exposure with adverse health effects can occur from some household products, such as cleaning wipes, consumer cleaning products, tool cleaners, paint removers, spray adhesives, and carpet cleaners and spot removers.

Perchloroethylene (PCE)

Perchloroethylene (PCE) is a synthetic chemical used in various industries, including dry cleaning and degreasing. Military personnel diagnosed with bladder cancer have been found to have high levels of PCE exposure. The chemical has also been shown to cause liver damage, kidney damage, and central nervous system effects in animals.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified PCE as a human carcinogen. Public health studies of workers exposed to PCE have shown an increased risk for bladder cancer. According to animal studies, EPA has also classified PCE as a probable human carcinogen.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified PCE as a Group 2A human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and limited evidence of carcinogenicity in animals.

Benzene

Benzene is a colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature and has a sweet odor. It is highly flammable and evaporates into the air very quickly.

Its vapor is heavier than air and may sink into low-lying areas. Benzene dissolves only slightly in water and will float on top of the water and is widely used in America.

Vinyl Chloride

The toxic chemical is a known human carcinogen with no safe level of exposure. Exposure to the chemical can occur in the workplace, environment, and tobacco smoke.

Workers at facilities where the chemical is produced or used may be exposed primarily through inhalation. The general population may be exposed to inhaling contaminated air or tobacco smoke.

If a water supply is contaminated with the chemical, people may be exposed by drinking or showering in the water. The chemical has also been linked to an elevated risk of liver cancer.

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The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 and the PACT Act

The PACT Act includes the long-awaited Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022, which will allow military personnel diagnosed with bladder cancer after being exposed to contaminated water to sue the federal government. The Act is named for the military base in North Carolina, where the contamination occurred and superseded the North Carolina statute of limitations and repose.

The CLJA directly responded to the water contamination scandal that rocked the Marine Corps base in the early 21st century. For years, military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune were unknowingly exposed to toxic levels of chemicals in the water supply.

As a result, many developed severe health problems, including kidney cancer. The Act will allow those diagnosed with bladder cancer to sue the US government for damages. It is a long-awaited measure of justice for the victims of one of the military's biggest scandals.

This legislation amends previous federal laws to implement a Secretary of Veterans Affairs decision involving kidney cancer cases. The VA Committee found that service connection on a presumptive basis is appropriate for claimants who served at Camp Lejeune military base during the specified time and for the required amount of time and then subsequently diagnosed with specific health conditions and diseases for disability benefits.

The Act is a momentous victory for military veterans and their families. They have been fighting for justice and disability compensation for years, and this bill will finally give them their day in court. The CLJA is an essential step in ensuring that those who have served our country are taken care of, and it is a fitting tribute to their service and sacrifice.

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Illnesses From Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that they are changing their regulations regarding presumption for service connection, adding certain diseases associated with contaminants present in the base water supply at U.S Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987.

Adverse health outcomes associated with Camp Lejeune water contaminants include:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Adverse birth outcomes, including birth defects
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bile duct (gall bladder) cancer
  • Bone Cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cardiac defect
  • Cervical cancer
  • Endocrine cancer
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Heart defect
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver cancers
  • Liver diseases
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Nephrotoxicity (a rare form of kidney damage)
  • Neurobehavioral disorders
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Parkinson’s
  • Plasma cell myeloma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
  • Renal cancer
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Other diseases and cancers

Filing Kidney Cancer Claims for Health Benefits

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), military personnel who developed kidney cancer after serving at Camp Lejeune may be eligible for disability compensation.

Victims filing Camp Lejeune lawsuits must provide evidence that they served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, lived there for at least 30 days from 1953-1987, and have a kidney cancer diagnosis from a medical professional.

Additionally, Camp Lejeune victims filing kidney cancer cases must have medical records indicating that they have been diagnosed with one of the 15 conditions listed by the VA.

Treatment records after developing kidney cancer may also be required. Disability compensation amounts will vary depending on the severity of the condition.

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Hire a Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer Attorney to Resolve a Contaminated Drinking Water Claim

Have you or a loved one developed kidney cancer or other severe medical condition likely from exposure to Camp Lejeune water contamination sources?

All Camp Lejeune veterans, service members, families, civil employees, and others exposed to the contaminated drinking water are now entitled to receive disability benefits from the VA if they have been diagnosed with presumptive conditions.

The Camp Lejeune kidney cancer attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for Camp Lejeune veterans and others with injuries related to the contaminated water while stationed at the Marine Corps Base between 1953 and 1987. Call us at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free case evaluation.

We accept every kidney cancer lawsuit and wrongful death claim on a contingency fee agreement. This promise ensures you pay nothing until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer Resources:

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