Military training facility, Camp Lejeune, located in Jacksonville, North Caroline serves as an active Marine Corps Base. From the 1950s- 1980s soldiers and families stationed there were subject to water contamination. It was not discovered until the early 1980s that the volatile organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent, and vinyl chloride, as well as benzene, were in the water supply.
Nearly one million marines were impacted by the contaminated water. Levels were said to be anywhere from 240 to 3400 times higher than what is permitted by safety standards. The first veteran to receive a 100% disability rating from exposure was not awarded until 2010, even though awareness of the contamination occurred nearly 3 decades prior.
A number of government initiatives have been written to compensate those impacted, including the Janey Ensminger Act named after the daughter of an engineer based at Camp Lejeune who died from cancer after growing up at the base. The Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 was enacted to provide cost-free health care for Veterans who have qualifying health conditions. Family members are eligible for reimbursement for medical expenses from covered conditions as well.
The VA has established a list of diseases connected to the Camp Lejeune exposure. If you lived on the base between August 1, 1953 – December 31, 1987 and have been diagnosed with one of the following illnesses and it is presumed to be service-related making service-connected disability benefits much easier to obtain. If you have any of them please contact us.
The presumptive diseases are:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and
- Parkinson’s disease
You can learn more from the VA research on the topic.