A Contaminated Oasis: The Dangers of Camp Lejeune Toxic Waters for Veterans
With every passing day, the wait for settlement payouts for Camp Lejeune victims is becoming more acute. The veterans and their family members who have suffered due to the toxic water exposure at the North Carolina Marine Corps base are waiting for their compensation. Nearly 100,000 claims were filed with the Navy, but only less than a fifth of the legal claims are processed.
According to records, close to a million people who worked and resided in this region between 1953 and 1987 were affected by the contaminated water. Lackadaisical attitudes towards managing chemicals at the off-base business and on-base spills and leaks are what led to water pollution. However, in August 2022, President Joe Biden signed the CLJA (Camp Lejeune Justice Act) into law and allowed victims to take legal action against the federal government.
But the crisis still exists. People are still waiting to get compensated for life-threatening ailments they developed. Mike Partain, a veteran in Camp Lejeune and a male breast cancer survivor, reported to CBS News that he knows more than 130 men who are suffering from this cancer as an after-effect of getting exposed to the poisonous water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have already confirmed the correlation between male breast cancer and the tainted water at Camp Lejeune. That is not all. The poisonous water also resulted in several other ailments that made this region into a contaminated oasis.
In this article, we will touch upon the life-threatening health hazards caused by contaminated waters and how victims can seek compensation for the same.
Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Can Cause Parkinson’s Disease and Cancer
According to a Drugwatch report published in August 2023, the polluted Camp Lejeune waters can cause innumerable ailments. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yet again states that toxic water exposure can result in:
- Kidney cancer
- Adult leukemia
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Liver cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
Research reveals that the waters in this land contained the toxic chemicals benzene, trichloroethylene, and perchloroethylene. There have been cases where the contamination was more than 300 times higher than the standard level.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that revealed that U.S. service members staying at North Carolina Marine base during the contamination period had a 70% higher chance of suffering from Parkinson’s disease compared to people who were residing in other areas of the country. All the information that was used for the report was sourced from Veterans Health Administration and Medicare records.
Eddie Peterson, a former Marine who is 76 years old, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease because of toxic water exposure. He shared with CNN that people like him who filed a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit are not just trying to get compensated but also letting the government know that they aren’t going to take their suffering lightly. The government must take action and take the ones who are accountable for their suffering to task.
Toxic Waters Are Linked with Reproductive Issues
Women who resided at Camp Lejeune during the contamination period and were exposed to the contaminated water have faced reproductive issues. Some of the problems included issues with conceiving and finally giving birth to a baby. The harmful chemicals likely created complicated conditions in utero, thereby affecting the health of a woman’s child.
Fetal malformations and congenital disabilities can be visible and have external manifestations, such as a cleft palate, or an internal condition, such as a heart defect. It is possible for infants not to exhibit any observable symptoms for their parents to get alert. It is only when their health becomes questionable, and parents seek medical counsel that the doctors notice the visible defects. However, internal defects can be discovered at the time of birth or in the early stages of development.
There are situations where harmful chemical exposure can result in miscarriage or fetal death. Mothers most often experience specific symptoms that can result in such occurrences.
The symptoms of fetal death are:
- Bleeding or spotting
- Zero fetal heartbeat
- No fetal kicks or movement
The harmful chemicals present in the Camp Lejeune waters also caused female infertility. The crucial sign of this is that a woman is unable to get pregnant. Additionally, any sudden changes in the menstrual cycle can also signal the same. It usually includes very short or prolonged menstrual cycles. At times, women face inconsistent menstruation or no cycle.
TorHoerman Law states that other conditions that women suffered from because of the filthy water at Camp Lejeune were ovarian cancer, stomach cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer. According to the January 2024 lawsuit update, the Camp Lejeune litigation is all set to witness the initial trials, which marks a massive development in the most significant mass tort cases.
The initial trials will address all the veteran claims linked to Parkinson’s disease, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and kidney and bladder cancer.
Seeking Financial Compensation for Losses
Hence, if you have faced health issues after consuming or ingesting the dirty Camp Lejeune water, you qualify for fair compensation. And for this, you need to file a lawsuit to point out your suffering and how it has affected your life. You can’t walk this path alone. Ideally, you should join hands with an expert lawyer to file a legal complaint and work towards receiving your compensation.
Your legal case is a game-changer in your legal battle. An expert lawyer will use the necessary pieces of evidence that you share with them to make your case stronger. Evidence that might prove to be helpful includes medical bills, medical diagnosis data, documents that prove your stay during the contamination period, and any healthcare data. Lawyers use every crucial piece of evidence to build a solid case to ensure that the verdict is in your favor.
To sum up, when you think about a water contamination case in the U.S., the name Camp Lejeune automatically pops up. It’s natural because this incident not only caused severe ailments but also made people lose their lives. Therefore, if you have lived in this region between 1953 and 1987 and have suffered immensely, you should seek both medical and legal assistance.