What Diseases Are Associated With Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Published on Mar 10, 2023 at 5:38 pm in Water Contamination.

What Diseases Are Associated With Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
For more than 30 years, the drinking water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a variety of toxic chemicals and known human carcinogens, including trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene. Exposure to this contaminated water has since been linked to the onset of a number of serious and fatal health conditions, affecting active duty servicemembers and their families, contract workers, and civilians alike.

For anyone who was stationed, lived, or worked at this base, it is imperative that you know what diseases are associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Dates & Locations of Water Contamination at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

From 1953 to 1987, multiple water treatment plants servicing Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River (MCAS New River) were contaminated with toxic substances known to be harmful to human health. Facilities affected by the contamination include:

  • Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune
  • The barracks
  • Officer and family housing
  • The commissary
  • Office and administrative buildings

Anyone who was at Camp Lejeune for a cumulative period of 30 days between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987 was exposed to amounts of toxic materials sufficient enough to trigger the onset of a number of serious diseases and illnesses.

Diseases Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have linked a significant number of diseases with exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. While some of these illnesses are treatable, others require life-long care. Still more are fatal.

At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we are prepared to help veterans and their families navigate the legal process for recovering compensation related to the following Camp Lejeune diseases:


If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer after spending at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune during the prescribed time period, you may have the right to take legal action:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Breast cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Childhood hematopoietic cancers
  • Soft tissue cancer

Life expectancy and prognosis depend heavily on the type, location, stage, and severity of a person’s cancer. Some cancers are more aggressive than others and respond poorly to treatment. Even so-called “mild” cancers still require comprehensive treatment and years of follow-up care. Treatment for cancer may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Immunotherapy
  • Surgery
  • Stem cell and bone marrow transplants

If the financial, physical, and emotional toll of cancer treatment has become too much to bear, it may be time to consider whether filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination claim is right for you.

Fetal Conditions & Birth Defects

The exposure of pregnant women to foreign substances in the water at Camp Lejeune has also been linked with a number of conditions, including:

  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage and fetal death
  • Neural tube defects
  • Oral clefts
  • Cleft lip
  • Spina bifida
  • Anencephaly
  • Choanal atresia
  • Eye defects
  • Major malformations

Every child deserves the best possible start in life. In-utero exposure to harmful substances drastically increases a baby’s risk of being born with a preventable condition that may affect them for a lifetime.

Additional Diseases

Other diseases and illnesses that have been linked to this water contamination include:

  • End-stage renal disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Scleroderma
  • Impaired immune system functioning
  • Generalized hypersensitivity disorder
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Liver cirrhosis

Neurological defects (including short-term memory problems and delayed reaction times) and neurobehavioral deficits (depression and confusion) have also been recorded in those exposed to TCE, PCE, VC, benzene, and other contaminants found in Camp Lejeune’s water.

VA Disability Benefits for Veterans Affected by Contaminated Water

The VA currently provides disability benefits for veterans, guardsmen, and reservists who have developed one of eight conditions related to toxic water exposure. To qualify for benefits, you must meet the following three requirements:

  • Have been stationed at or served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for a period of at least 30 cumulative dates between Aug. 1, 1953 and Dec. 31, 1987,
  • Have separated from the military without a dishonorable discharge, and
  • Have been diagnosed with one or more presumptive conditions linked to contaminated water.

The presumptive conditions eligible for these VA disability benefits are:

  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (including aplastic anemia)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Bladder cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Liver cancer

VA disability benefits only include health care and small monthly payments, which are often not sufficient to address the full breadth of a victim’s total losses and damages. In the event that a veteran is receiving VA benefits but is still dealing with financial losses, or a civilian is unable to access these types of benefits, there is another option available—legal action.

Legal Options for Victims of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 carved out a legal avenue for those affected by water contamination to hold the government accountable for its negligence. This is a rare opportunity seldom afforded to those who have been harmed by government action or inaction.

At Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC, we are proud to advocate for veterans and their families, as well as those who worked as contractors or civilians at base facilities.

If you developed a disease associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination after spending 30 or more cumulative days at the base, you may be owed compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. To learn more about your legal right to compensation, please contact our law office for a free case evaluation.

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