Super Lawyers
Illinois State Bar Association
Justia Lawyer Rating
Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Avvo Rating
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers BBB Business Review

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, is a United States Marine Corps base involved in a water contamination scandal. For years, Camp Lejeune's water supply was contaminated with hazardous chemicals that have since led to numerous cases of cancer and other illnesses.

The base was closed from 1985 to 1987 after discovering that the water supply was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including trichloroethylene (TCE). As a result, many service members and their families who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during that time have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

water-contamination-camp-lejeune-disease-symptoms

Do you believe that the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune led to your serious medical condition? Contact the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC for legal representation to ensure you receive maximum Veterans Administration benefits.

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.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Statistics

Since the early 1980s, Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was used as a United States Marine Corps base. Unfortunately, this also meant that the water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals. It wasn't until 2012 that the full extent of the contamination was revealed to the public.

  • The water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with numerous chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.
  • The above hazardous chemicals can damage the kidney, liver, central nervous system, immune system, male reproductive system, and unborn children.
  • TCE is a known human carcinogen, while toxic exposure to PCE has been linked to liver and kidney damage.
  • Vinyl chloride exposure has been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer and aplastic anemia.
  • The water contamination at the Marine Corps base affected an estimated 750,000 to 1 million people.
  • The first cases of illness linked to contaminated water were reported in the early 1980s, but it wasn't until 1997 that the problem was finally made public.
  • There is sufficient evidence that most TCE and vinyl chloride exposure resulted from leaking underground storage tanks at Camp Lejeune.
  • In 2012, the United States government acknowledged that the Camp Lejeune water wells were contaminated and offered compensation to those affected.
  • Likely over 900,000 individuals who served at Camp Lejeune are affected by the contaminants and other risk factors.

A new study indicates that more people may suffer from contaminated Camp Lejeune water than we thought. According to this latest report, even people who did not live on base may have been exposed to carcinogens in the water.

Illnesses From Toxic Substances in Camp Lejeune Water

It has been more than 30 years since the water contamination at the military base was discovered, and many people still suffer from the effects.

When Camp Lejeune was built in 1941, it became home to thousands of military members and their families. At the time, no one could have guessed that the water supply would one day become contaminated with some of the most dangerous chemicals known to man.

For decades, people living or stationed at Camp Lejeune were exposed to high levels of trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, vinyl chloride,and other pollutants. Today, we know that these chemicals can lead to a long list of serious health problems, including:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Adverse birth outcomes
  • Breast cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cardiac defect
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Cervical cancer
  • Childhood leukemia
  • Childhood cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Heart defect
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Immune system problems
  • Kidney cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver cancers
  • Liver diseases
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Nephrotoxicity (kidney damage)
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Neural tube birth defects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Plasma cell myeloma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Spina bifida
  • Other cancers

Presumptive Conditions

Since June 9, 2016, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has recognized contaminated water at Camp Lejeune as a presumptive condition. This means that veterans who were stationed or lived at Camp Lejeune and were diagnosed with any of the six conditions recognized by the VA as being associated with exposure to contaminants in the water are now automatically eligible for disability benefits.

The VA recently updated its policy to include new water-borne illnesses as presumptive conditions for which veterans can receive benefits.

Presumptive conditions mean that diagnosis in the medical records of veterans exposed to contaminated water who developed any illnesses will be presumed to have obtained them due to military service and will not need to provide evidence linking their illness to service.

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease

The federal government presumes that any of the above medical conditions were caused by Camp Lejeune's tainted water supply for veterans and family members during a specific period.

While this change is welcome news for many veterans who have long sought justice for their service-related injuries, some questions as to why VA took so long to recognize these conditions and whether all veterans affected by the water contamination will be fairly compensated remain.

call-camp-lejeune-water-contamination-lawyer

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Assessment on Camp Lejeune Tainted Water

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recently released an assessment of the Camp Lejeune water contamination on September 1st. This initial report reviews the literature on human health and exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The contaminants in question were present in water supplies at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. Many Marines and their families drank, cooked with, and bathed in this tainted water without knowing the potential health risks. Victims of this toxic water contamination have long-awaited answers from ATSDR about the possible health effects of these chemicals.

ATSDR's assessment found "suggestive evidence of an increased risk" of adult leukemia and different health effects in people exposed to benzene and vinyl chloride VOCs. The report also found "limited/suggestive evidence" of an increased risk of lung cancer and other health conditions in people exposed to the PAHs benzo(a)pyrene and naphthalene.

While this initial report does not provide definitive answers, it is an important step forward for the victims of this toxic water contamination. ATSDR will continue to study the potential health effects of the contaminants in question and release additional information as it becomes available.

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

It's been about a decade since the first reports of contamination at Camp Lejeune were made public, and people are still struggling with the effects. Though the Marine Corps has issued an apology, stating they will "do right by these victims," many people are still unaware of the symptoms or how to get help.

Some of the common symptoms associated with contaminated Camp Lejeune water include:

Cancer (Leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, Lung Cancer)

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Persistent fever
  • Night sweats
  • Pain in bones or joints
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash

Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders can cause various symptoms, depending on the specific disorder. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Rashes

Liver Damage

The most common symptoms of liver damage are:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • Itching
  • Abdominal pain

Kidney Damage

The symptoms of kidney damage can vary depending on the severity of the damage. Some common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dark urine
  • Pale skin
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, and legs
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Female and Male Reproductive Problems

Reproductive problems can cause various symptoms, depending on the specific disorder. Some of the more common symptoms include:

Birth Defects

Some common symptoms of birth defects include:

  • Heart defects
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Down syndrome
  • Spina bifida
  • Blindness
  • Deafness

Neurological Disorders

The symptoms of neurological damage can vary depending on the severity of the damage. Some common symptoms include:

  • Memory loss
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Hyperactivity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Personality changes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Seizures

These are just some of the many symptoms linked to contaminated Camp Lejeune water. If you or a loved one has been affected by this, it's important to get help as soon as possible. Many resources are available to help you get the treatment and compensation you deserve.

call-camp-lejeune-water-contamination-attorney

Congress Acknowledges Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Has Harmed Veterans, Service Members, and Families

Unfortunately, many people exposed to the contamination are only now starting to experience its effects.

In 2012, Congress passed the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, which provided health care benefits to those affected by the contaminated water.

The Act was signed into law on January 3, 2013, to provide medical care and benefits to certain tainted Camp Lejeune water victims at the Naval Base in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 is part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The PACT Act is a bill introduced in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2019, by Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-NC). The PACT Act aims to provide justice and compensation to victims of toxic chemical exposure, specifically those exposed at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to add vinyl chloride exposure to the list of hazardous substances that are subject to regulation under the Act.

EPA Ongoing Assessments

It also requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and update its risk assessment for vinyl chloride levels. Congress mandated that the EPA establish a health registry for individuals exposed to vinyl chloride or other hazardous substances at Camp Lejeune to determine their health care needs.

The Act would provide much-needed relief to the victims of toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune. It would ensure that they receive the justice and compensation they deserve and that the EPA takes action to protect others from being exposed to these dangerous chemicals.

call-camp-lejeune-water-contamination-law-firm

VA Disability Benefits Available to Those Who Served at Camp Lejeune and Harmed by Contaminated Water Exposure

On July 27, 1982, the United States Marine Corps issued a news release stating that "the drinking water at Camp Lejeune is not potable due to a leak in the fuel tank farm." Since then, it has been widely reported that government and military leaders were aware of these problems as early as 1965.

Decades later, it was revealed that Camp Lejeune's water well supply had been contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethylene (TCE) and benzene, for over 30 years.

Military personnel stationed at Camp Lejeune and later diagnosed with Parkinson's may be eligible for financial benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA has set aside billions to compensate veterans and their families harmed by the base’s contaminated water.

Benefits can include up to $3,000 per month for those with a 100% disability rating. A disability rating is determined by the severity of your symptoms and how they interfere with your daily life.

Veterans with less severe disabilities may still be eligible for compensation through Individual Unemployability or Special Monthly Compensation programs.

How Do I File a Claim?

If you are a veteran stationed at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with a qualifying illness, you may be eligible for benefits from the VA. You must provide evidence of your military service and medical diagnosis to file a claim.

You can start the process by submitting a completed Application for Disability Compensation and Related Benefits. Be sure to include all relevant medical documentation to support your claim.

If you have any questions about the VA benefits process, the Department of Veterans Affairs has a helpline available 24/7. You can call 1-800-827-1000 to speak to a representative.

When the VA Denies Disability Claims

If the VA denies your disability claim, you may be able to appeal the decision. You will need to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) within one year of the date of the VA's decision letter.

The appeals process can be complex and frustrating. Contact a veteran benefits lawyer from our law office for assistance if you need help filing an appeal or navigating the VA system.

When Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Leads to Wrongful Death

When you join the military, you and your family make many sacrifices. One of those is living on a military base. You do this knowing that it is for the greater good and that your family will be taken care of. Unfortunately, the people supposed to care for you sometimes end up causing great harm.

One example is the contaminated Camp Lejeune water. For over two decades, the water on base was contaminated with toxic chemicals like vinyl chloride and other harmful chemicals.

The contaminants resulted in chronic exposure for military personnel and their families. The contamination affected both drinking water and showering water.

Exposure to these toxic substances has been linked to serious health conditions like adult leukemia, aplastic anemia, and different types of cancer. In some cases, the exposure has even led to death. You might be entitled to compensation if the Camp Lejeune water well contamination impacted a family member.

The first step is to speak with an experienced attorney to help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our legal team can ensure all surviving family members are compensated for the damages associated with their loved one’s death, including

  • Hospital expenses and medical bills
  • Loss of familial support
  • Loss of benefits
  • Loss of companionship and consortium
  • Pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and grief
  • Funeral and burial expenses

call-about-camp-lejeune-water-contamination-lawsuit

Hire a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawyer to Resolve a Disability Benefits Claim

Do you suspect the chronic exposure to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water supply led to your diagnosis of a severe medical condition? Did you seek medical attention and are facing ongoing medical bills?

The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC are legal advocates for injured victims harmed through contaminated Camp Lejeune water. We fight aggressively to ensure that our clients receive maximum VA benefits for their damages.

We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

Contact us at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

Resources:

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld. Michonne Proulx
★★★★★
Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own. Ethan Armstrong
★★★★★
This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you. Daniel Kaim
★★★★★
Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan! Giulia
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa