Camp Lejeune was a training base for the U.S. Marine Corps that opened in 1942. It’s also home to some of the most contaminated land in North Carolina, where thousands of veterans and their families live. Camp Lejeune has been plagued by water contamination for decades. Reports of contamination at Camp Lejeune were first disclosed in 1985, but the problem has most likely been going on since the 1950s. The chemicals that were found in the water are thought to be a combination of industrial waste, salt water, and possibly even radioactive waste.
According to a report published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), there have been at least 6,000 deaths linked to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune since 1989. The Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit is a multi-million dollar class action lawsuit filed against the government and several military contractors for the contamination that has been reported at Camp Lejeune since 1953. The lawsuit alleges that the US Army, which is responsible for testing and monitoring the water at Camp Lejeune, failed to conduct sufficient testing and address problems with contaminated well water. The lawsuit claims that despite being aware of the problems with contaminated well water for decades, the US Army did not take steps to prevent or mitigate future problems until recently.
The following chemicals were found in the Camp Lejeune water system;
Benzene is a chemical that is used in the manufacturing of solvents and paints. It’s also a known carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer. Benzene has been linked to leukemia, bladder cancer, and bone marrow cancer. In the military, benzene is used in the manufacture of rocket fuel and jet engine lubricant. Benzene has been linked with cancer as well as damage to the liver, kidneys, and heart due to long-term exposure. Benzene is highly flammable and can cause severe burns when it comes in contact with your skin. It is also extremely toxic if swallowed. It has been linked to birth defects, developmental problems, and neurological damage.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a solvent used in dry cleaning. It’s also a known human carcinogen, causing cancer. TCE can cause liver and kidney damage, as well as nerve damage and immune system complications. Exposure to TCE has been linked to reproductive problems, irritability, and anxiety disorders like PTSD or depression, as well as other conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
TCE causes Rainbow Vision — A condition where people experience colored halos around light sources; this occurs because of the way our eyes absorb light differently than other parts of our bodies do—they absorb more blue wavelengths than red ones, for example. This causes long-term damage over time due to exposure levels exceeding safe limits set by OSHA.
PCE is a solvent used in dry cleaning and paint stripping. It is toxic and can cause cancer. It’s also been found to cause liver, kidney, and bone marrow damage.
PCE was found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune after it was discharged into the ocean by a company that owns manufacturing plants near the lake. The chemicals were also found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, where people had been serving for as long as 20 years. The chemicals may have caused cancer and other health problems in some Marines who served there. PCE is also a developmental toxin, meaning it can cause birth defects in unborn children. It’s also been shown to affect the nervous system and cause brain damage in infants. PCE exposure can be dangerous while pregnant or breastfeeding, and it’s been linked to an increased risk of miscarriage.
Overall, Camp Lejeune has a long history of dangerous chemical exposure. The chemicals that were found in the water are not the only ones that have caused problems for residents. Many other chemicals have been discovered in Camp Lejeune’s soil and sediment, making it unsafe for humans to live there.