Was There Really Poisoned Water in Camp Lejeune?

Sharing is caring!

Most people know Jon Stewart for his role in comedy and as a news anchor on Comedy Central. However, there’s nothing funny behind his advocacy efforts for veterans exposed to the toxic water supply in Camp Lejeune. The toxic water supply in Camp Lejeune was, in fact, a very real event that continues to impact the lives of veterans, civilian contractors, and their family members.

Below is all the information you need to know about the poisoned water supply at Camp Lejeune, and what you can do if you or someone you know is a victim of this poisoned water. 

When Did the Water Poisoning Happen?

Camp Lejeune is a training base dedicated to helping build future Marines. It still operates today, and is the only Marine training base for women joining the United States Marine Corps. The base is located in North Carolina, off the banks of the New River and Stones Bay.

While it is a great training base to get Marines familiar with water training exercises, it also suffered from toxic water runoff in two of its wells. Between 1953 and 1987, these two wells were contaminated with solvent chemicals, which included Benzene, Trichloroethylene (TCE), Perchloroethylene (PCE), Vinyl Chloride, and other solvents that were extremely toxic for human health.

For over 30 years, the toxic water was used by civilian employees, healthcare workers, military members, and their families to eat, shower, bathe, and wash clothing. Sadly, this lead to many diseases and long-term health effects, including 15 that the Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes are being directly linked to the toxic water in Camp Lejeune. The 15 diseases include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma

Why Are We Now Hearing About It?

Sadly, many of these diseases listed above did not appear right away. For many people, they went on to develop cancer and other diseases decades after first being exposed to the toxic water. In addition, the water supply wells were shut down in 1987, almost 30 years after the first exposure in 1953.

By then it was too late for many. As many as one million people are thought to have been affected by the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. It wasn’t until March 26, 2021, that Representative Cartwright of Pennsylvania introduced the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021.

The Bill was introduced to the House of Representatives, and would allow civilian members, military members, and their families file a civil lawsuit against the federal government for their negligence and handling of the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

How Can I Help?

Fortunately, the PACT act was just signed into law by President Joe Biden on August 8, 2022. The PACT act allows military service members, their families, and civilian employees to seek VA disability benefits and also to file a lawsuit for additional settlement compensation. This is a newly signed bill, and there is little information on the potential compensation that people will receive.

However, settlements will be offset by any VA disability that is given to people seeking compensation. These settlements will also be determined by someone’s long-term disease, whether or not they continue to suffer from the effects of the toxic water, and if they had to pay out-of-pocket expenses for their medical expenses.

If you think someone you know was exposed to the toxic water run-off at Camp Lejeune, or if you were exposed, it’s best to seek legal help and file for VA disability benefits as soon as possible.

Sharing is caring!

Speak Your Mind