Victims of the Camp Lejeune contaminated water disaster know all too well how devastating the toxins in the water were. Unfortunately, the causes of water contamination at Camp Lejeune could have been easily avoided if more regulation and common sense were used. Nevertheless, it’s a learning lesson for many other industries to take care in where they dump their water, lest another repeat occurs of the Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Read on below to find out more about what caused the water contamination at Camp Lejeune, and why so many people are now filing lawsuits and disability claims due to the contamination.
What Caused Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune?
The Agency for Toxic Services and Disease Registry found that one of the main causes of water contamination in Camp Lejeune was the runoff and dumping of chemicals without any sort of regard to their effects on the pipes. One dry cleaning company, known as ABC Dry Cleaners, established itself on the outskirts of the Camp Lejeune base in 1953. Since then, they dumped hazardous chemicals known as solvents down their drains, impacting the water supply around the Camp Lejeune base.
These toxic chemicals then infiltrated the water supply, including two wells, at the base of Camp Lejeune. Sadly, these two wells provided water to the base, health care centers, daycare centers, and homes on the base. The CDC estimates that around 1,000,000 people were affected by the water contamination. To date, around 5,000 people have already filed claims to get compensation and justice for the toxic water runoff.
Some reports suggest that the base knew about the toxic water contamination in the early 1980s, but did nothing to stop it until shutting down the wells at Camp Lejeune in 1987.
What Were the Effects of Contaminated Water?
The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune led to a ripple effect, including diseases and long-lasting illnesses in the base. The more people used water for cleaning, cooking, washing, and showering, the more and more they got sick.
Some of the diseases caused by the Camp Lejeune toxic water include:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Neurobehavioral effects
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Renal toxicity
What Can We Do Now?
Sadly, not much can be done about the many people that died or continue to suffer from the diseases listed above. However, some people were able to find help and continue their efforts to seek justice, thanks to the PACT act of 2022. The Act allows civilians and other military family members to seek compensation through VA disability for the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. It also allows people to sue the federal government for damages caused by the toxic water.
Though many lives were impacted due to the toxic water, it is a learning lesson that has helped create better laws about water regulation, and helped encourage stricter water monitoring. If you or someone you know were affected by contaminated water, call a lawyer for help in filing a lawsuit or VA disability claim.