Diseases and Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​


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Journalist: Aaron Vivanco


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Editor: Daniela Polo


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Diseases and Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune water contamination could include mental confusion, persistent fatigue, unexplained weight loss, headaches, among others that people exposed to the toxic water have experienced.

Additionally, some common diseases have been revealed in the claims filed for Camp Lejeune compensation. The conditions that stand out from the rest include bladder and kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, and leukemia.

In the following article, we will dive deep into the symptoms and diseases related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.

Keep in mind that if you think you have been affected by these toxic chemicals, the first course of action should be seeking medical assistance. After you get treatment, contact us for further information about this lawsuit.

Overview of Illnesses and Diseases Linked to Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with high levels of toxics, including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachlorethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene, which are linked to various health conditions.

Several of these chemicals, which where present in industrial solvents, contain or produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), substances that can cause cancer.

Let’s remember that diseases and symptoms related to water contamination at Camp Lejeune often do not show up for several years. It could even be decades before you notice some side effects on your health or your loved ones’.

Camp Lejeune cancer list

This lawsuit could be understood as the Camp Lejeune Cancer lawsuit, since this condition is one of the most cited health problems related to the claims.

As we mentioned before, the contaminants found in the water were toxic chemicals known as carcinogens and have resulted in different diagnoses around this disease.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is considered the 4th most prevalent form of cancer in men in the United States, with approximately 82,000 new cases reported annually.

Furthermore, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 9 out of 10 people with this cancer are over the age of 55. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 73.

According to the Camp Lejeune Morbidity Study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, there is substantial evidence linking the contaminants in the water at Camp Lejeune to an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

A study has found that people who drank the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were twice as likely to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in the lymph system, an important part of the body’s immune response.

This is happened because the presence of this water has the potential to create a toxic environment in the body and inhibit the immune system.

Kidney Cancer

Exposure to the chemicals PCE and TCE, like with bladder cancer, is linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer.

The presence of both cancer-causing chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water led to the development of kidney issues in many military families and civilian workers.

Symptoms associated with kidney cancer caused by the toxic chemicals include blood in the urine, chronic back pain, appetite loss, weight loss, chronic fatigue, and fever.

Camp Lejeune and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes involuntary movements, such as tremors, and challenges with balance and walking.

A study published in JAMA Neurology showed that individuals exposed on a long-term basis to TCE (such as Camp Lejeune veterans) were six times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

As the disease gets worse, people might have trouble moving and talking. Also, diagnosing Parkinson’s disease usually includes physical and nerve tests, which can be tough on the patient’s emotional stability.

Other Presumptive conditions for Camp Lejeune

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established a list of presumptive conditions in connection to the toxic water.  This is true specially for Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members exposed to the contaminant. The list goes as follows:

  • Adult leukemia: The water at Camp Lejeune contained Benzene, a known carcinogen linked to leukemia.
  • Aplastic anemia: A condition in which the body does not produce enough new blood cells. Exposure to chemicals such as benzene and TCE has been linked to risk factors for aplastic anemia.
  • Liver cancer: Again, benzene and TCE are the protagonists, as exposure to both can damage the DNA and lead to the development of liver cancer.
  • Multiple myeloma: This condition causes cancerous plasma cells to accumulate in the bone marrow and limit healthy blood cell growth.
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS): Characterized by impaired white blood cell production, these conditions lead to a build-up of unhealthy white blood cells, causing infections, fatigue, and bleeding.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease): Children who have been exposed to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may experience neurobehavioral effects such as difficulties with attention, learning, social interactions, and aggressive behavior.
  • Female infertility: The VA has found a possible link between exposure to Camp Lejeune contaminated water and female infertility, as well as higher rates of miscarriage among those stationed at the base.
  • Birth defects: The toxic water has been shown to be associated with neural tube defects and oral cleft defects. Some symptoms of birth defects may not be immediately apparent and may even take years to manifest after a baby is born.

Veterans and relatives who believe they may have health problems related to Camp Lejeune contaminated water are urged to contact their primary care provider and submit a claim.

Causes of Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The water at Camp Lejeune came from eight wells, but two of them had toxic chemicals that got into the treatment plants.

This meant that chemicals in the contaminated water mixed up with the clean water supplied by the other wells before making its way to the homes at Camp Lejeune.

The most worrying fact is that this happened for decades in a continuous operation, without the residents at the Marine Corps base could do anything about it.

As a result, as we mentioned earlier, the health of the military personnel, workers, and their families is now at risk because they were exposed to this water.

Factors that could impact the Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The risk factors for Camp Lejeune water contamination are variable. Marines faced a higher exposure due to their increased water consumption during training exercises.

Additionally, people who worked or lived on base at Camp Lejeune may have experienced and may still experience certain health conditions because of the toxic water.

The type, length, and seriousness of the symptoms someone has can depend on many things.

How Long Were You Exposed to the Water at Camp Lejeune?

Sadly, continuous exposure to Camp Lejeune water can add up to more harm.

The water at Camp Lejeune presented risks to residents and workers at the Marine Corps facilities.

The longer you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, the more you might have been exposed to the harmful chemicals in the water.

How Often Were You Exposed?

In comparison to individuals who only worked at Camp Lejeune, the residents experienced daily exposure to the contaminated water.

Both parents and children used water for bathing, washing dishes, showering, and cleaning their homes more frequently than those who lived off base. This answers our next question.

How Were You Exposed?

As previously stated, individuals residing on the base consumed water and food that was contaminated.

They were also exposed through inhalation or direct skin contact during bathing or performing household tasks.

As a result, Camp Lejeune contaminated water has inflicted serious harm upon thousands of victims, and the government has allowed these claims to accumulate.

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