Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Contamination

 

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION

Camp Lejeune Toxic Water - Dangerous Levels of Cancer-Causing Substances

Between the 1950s and the 1980s, Camp Lejeune, a United States Marine Corps military base, suffered a high degree of water contamination in two of its key water sources. That contamination seriously impacted many of the Marines who served on the base and the military families who lived there.

There is substantial evidence that Camp Lejeune water contained unacceptable levels of known carcinogens (cancer-causing substances). Further, our Federal Government knew that Camp Lejeune water greatly exceeded the levels of carcinogens that the Environmental Protection Agency deemed safe.

The contaminated Camp Lejeune water contained high levels of known toxic, cancer-causing substances like trichloroethylene, tetrachlorethylene, vinyl chloride, and benzene. Many of these chemicals contain or create volatile organic compounds.

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune water contamination may vary depending on the amount of time an individual was exposed to toxic substances and dangerous chemicals. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a 1982 study discovered volatile organic compounds and contaminants in the Camp Lejeune water. We review the risk factors and common symptoms of exposure to each chemical below.

Keep in mind that Camp Lejeune water contamination symptoms often do not show up for years or even decades. We will discuss in detail how water contamination symptoms often do not appear for up to thirty years or more.

***Please note that this article was updated on 2nd February 2023 and therefore represents the most up-to-date information. 

Table of Contents

Let Our Team Handle Your Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Case

If you or your family were exposed to toxic chemicals while living or performing military service at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, you may have spent decades dealing with unexplained health issues. Dangerous and toxic chemicals did, in fact, enter the drinking water, which impacted its quality and safety. Your home was poisoned with contaminated drinking water, and you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation.

Contact the Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys of Dolman Law Group at 866-932-3641, or you can reach out using our online contact page for your free consultation.

Dolman Law Group has built our reputation on giving a voice to injured people who have been harmed by someone else's negligence and consistently delivering the results they expect. We won't be intimidated by the federal government, and we are prepared to take your Camp Lejeune cancer lawsuit to trial. Victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis deserve a voice.

Camp Lejeune Justice Act

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is incorporated into the PACT Act that was signed into law by President Biden on August 10, 2022. Spearheaded by Veterans affairs groups, it affects veterans, family members of veterans, and private contractors who resided at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for at least thirty days between August 1, 1953, to December 31, 1987. Eligible injured parties can seek damages, including paid health care expenses for symptoms related to the contaminated Camp Lejeune water. The exclusive venue for all claims brought under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Keep in mind that the Camp Lejeune Justice Act prevents our federal government from asserting an immunity defense to any claim brought under the Act. Further, this new law does away with the North Carolina Statute of Repose which forbids tort claims from being filed after ten years from the date of the incident. This new law enables Marine Corps Camp Lejeune victims to seek compensation for their harm and losses.

Dolman Law Group is Pursuing Camp Lejeune Claims For Similar Medical Issues That The VA Presently Affords Disability Benefits

Eligibility for a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

If you can provide proof that you spent at least thirty (30) consecutive days at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base between January 1, 1957, and December 31, 1987, and medical records illustrating you suffer or a loved one suffered from any of the fifteen (15) presumptive conditions caused by toxic exposure to harmful chemicals and cancerous substances in the water at Camp Lejeune; you may be eligible to file a claim.

Water Contamination Symptoms

Presumptive Conditions from Camp Lejeune Water Contamination inclulde:

Keep in mind that eligibility is also extended to those who spent thirty consecutive days at Marine Corps Air Station New River (MCAS New River) during the same period.

The Camp Lejeune Contaminated Drinking Water Lawsuit

Since August 10, 2022, we have seen a steadily growing number of Camp Lejeune lawsuits being filed in the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Before a lawsuit can be filed, the victim or their estate must file an administrative claim with the Judge Advocate General of the Department of the Navy. The administrative claim will spell out the medical issues the victim has been diagnosed with because of exposure to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

In turn, the government has six months to approve or deny the claim. This condition must be met before you can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. If your disability claim has already been denied, we can potentially proceed with a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit immediately.

Common Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Symptoms

Camp Lejeune cancers and diseases have been classified into multiple tiers. These tiers are based on strength of scientific and medical evidence linking the symptom with exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune.

Tier 1 Camp Lejeune cancer and diseases

  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Birth Defects
  • Prostate cancer
  • Scleroderma
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes

Tier 2 Camp Lejeune cancer, diseases, and symptoms

  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Infertility/miscarriage

Camp Lejeune Cancer and Symptoms With the Strongest Link to the Contaminated Drinking Water

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Lung cancer

Bladder Cancer Linked to Camp Lejeune

The bladder is an organ located in the abdomen that stores urine. Bladder cancer is among the most common forms of cancer and has a 77% five-year survival rate following the date of diagnosis. Both genetic and environmental factors can cause bladder cancer.

Environmental factors attributed to cancer of the bladder include exposure to cigarette smoke, industrial chemicals, and contaminated drinking water. Contaminated water at Camp Lejeune contained toxic chemicals and industrial solvents that are known carcinogens.

A study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and performed on over 247,000 participants (both civilians and former Marines) shows exposure to Trichloroethylene (TCE) and Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) leads to an increased risk for bladder cancer among Marines. Further, this study illustrated a three times higher mortality rate among Marines diagnosed with bladder cancer compared to the control group.

We believe the science behind Camp Lejeune bladder cancer displays a strong causal link. The toxic water at Camp Lejeune contained alarmingly high rates of PCE and TCE, multiple times the amount that was deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency. In turn, the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune posed unnecessary health risks to the Marine Corps and their families.

Camp Lejeune Breast Cancer

A 2007 study in the Journal of Occupational Health concluded that women exposed to industrial chlorinated solvents had a much higher rate of breast cancer. Further, numerous documented male breast cancer cases exist among Camp Lejeune veterans and residents. Keep in mind that male breast cancer is extremely rare. Thus, we believe there is a strong causal link between Camp Lejeune's contaminated water and breast cancer.

Camp Lejeune Kidney Cancer

A 2009 study by the National Research Council Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune showed a strong causal link between kidney cancer and the Camp Lejeune toxic water. Further, the same mortality study referenced under bladder cancer also displayed a greatly increased risk for kidney cancer among both civilians and Marines. Thus, we believe there is very strong scientific evidence relating Camp Lejeune with kidney cancer.

Camp Lejeune Leukemia

A 2009 study entitled Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects shows a greatly increased health risk for multiple types of blood cancer, including leukemia. A 2014 ATSDR study also showed a causal link between leukemia and Camp Lejeune water contamination. Further, leukemia was one of the original eight presumptive conditions (which has since been expanded to a number of other cancers and diseases) by the Veterans Administration in 2012. We believe there is a strong causal link between water contamination and leukemia from Camp Lejeune.

Prostate Cancer From Camp Lejeune

Another ATSDR study illustrated a greatly increased risk for prostate cancer related to Camp Lejeune water contamination. There is a body of scientific evidence linking PCE and TCE to prostate cancer. Several studies also indicate a likely causal relationship between Benzene and prostate cancer, with more research needed. However, the abundant presence of PCE, TCE, and Benzene in the contaminated water leads us to feel confident about proving a link between Camp Lejeune water and prostate cancer.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma From Camp Lejeune

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is one of the most common cancers and accounts for approximately 4% of cancers in the U.S. This is a blood cancer that starts in lymphocytes (white blood cells) that are part of the body's immune system. A 2021 meta-analysis illustrates a causal link between benzene exposure and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.  Symptoms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck, night sweats, unexplained weight loss, and abdominal pain. We consider the link between the toxic water supply at Camp Lejeune and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to be very strong.

Camp Lejeune and Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a disorder of the brain resulting in uncontrollable movements, including shaking and difficulty maintaining balance and walking. The disease has a gradual onset and will progress gradually over time. Many people suffering from Parkinson's disease will have extreme difficulty talking or walking. Parkinson's disease occurs when the neurons of the brain fail to produce enough dopamine.

The gold standard for linking Parkinson's disease to the Camp Lejeune contaminated water is known as the "Goldman Study." This study 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. Individuals with long-term PCE exposure were ten times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease. The Goldman study also demonstrated that the greater the length of one's exposure to TCE or PCE, the more likely they were to be diagnosed with Parkinson's disease subsequently. This creates an extremely strong causal link between Camp Lejeune water contamination and Parkinson's disease.

A 2021 study published in Neurobiology of Disease helped explain the mechanism by which TCE exposure impacts the brain. The study was conducted on rats exposed to TCE for an extended period of time. In turn, the rats displayed elevated LRRK2 kinase activity and progressive dopaminergic cell loss, the two most common genetic factors for Parkinson's disease.

Multiple Myeloma and Camp Lejeune

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells (a type of white blood cell). Healthy plasma cells serve to fight infections by creating antibodies. Individuals with multiple myeloma will have an accumulation of cancerous plasma cells in their bone marrow which will force out the healthy cells. The cancerous plasma cells no longer produce antibodies. Instead, they produce proteins that result in complications. Cancerous plasma cells multiply rapidly.

2014 mortality study of those who served or resided at Camp Lejeune illustrated a heightened risk of multiple myeloma. Those exposed to Camp Lejeune contaminated water were much more likely to develop multiple myeloma than the general population. The aforementioned 2014 ATSDR mortality and cancer incidence study also reflected a much higher rate of multiple myeloma for those exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Lung Cancer and Camp Lejeune

A 2018 Canadian study demonstrated that benzene exposure increased the risk of several cancers, including lung cancer. We anticipate the Department of Navy will apply additional scrutiny to Camp Lejeune lung cancer claims. A number of environmental factors aside from Camp Lejeune water contamination may have played a role in the development of lung cancer. However, there is a growing body of scientific and medical evidence, including epidemiological studies indicating a link between the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and lung cancer. Thus, we feel confident in pursuing Camp Lejeune lung cancer claims.

What Toxins Were in the Water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Military Base?

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Tetrachorethylene (PCE)
  • Vinyl Chloride
  • Benzene

Common Symptoms of Trichloroethylene Exposure

Trichloroethylene, also known as TCE, can cause numerous physiological symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Studies indicate that the contaminated Camp Lejeune water had alarming rates of TCE that far exceeded what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems to be allowable. Camp Lejeune water contamination levels were grossly higher than the allowable levels.

Immediate Symptoms of Acute Exposure to TCE

Exposure to high levels of TCE at Camp Lejeune can cause immediate symptoms, including:

  • Headaches, particularly at high volumes of exposure
  • Decreased memory
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Decreased dexterity
  • Fatigue and drowsiness
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) distress, such as diarrhea and vomiting (from TCE ingestion).

Short-term symptoms may resolve quickly after exposure ends. For example, water vapor containing high levels of TCE may have caused acute symptoms after showering or exposure to steam, but those symptoms may have resolved fairly quickly. Accordingly, Marines who served at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s to 1980s may not currently experience these water contamination symptoms but may remember suffering them at the time of exposure. Thus, it may often take decades for medical issues to manifest in Camp Lejeune victims.

Symptoms of Chronic TCE Exposure

Long-term (chronic) exposure to TCE at Camp Lejeune can pose numerous risk factors.

The Marines at Camp Lejeune and their family members living on the base and exposed to contaminated water supplies may have experienced symptoms such as:

  • Decreased overall appetite
  • Ongoing headaches or vertigo
  • Problems with short-term memory
  • Cognitive declines, including problems with word associations
  • Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
  • Ongoing digestive problems, including chronic nausea or vomiting

These long-term impacts may have lingered as long as exposure to toxic levels of TCE continued. Service members and their families may have attributed some of these water contamination symptoms to the stress of their jobs or living situations, but with the benefit of hindsight, may now recognize them as potentially caused by prolonged exposure to TCE.

Long-Term Symptoms of TCE Exposure

According to substantial medical evidence, TCE exposure at Camp Lejeune can also lead to long-term health impacts that linger well after acute or chronic exposure ends.

Marines and families exposed to high levels of TCE in the Camp Lejeune water supply may develop:

  • Kidney disease
  • Decreased liver function
  • Kidney or liver cancer
  • Heart problems
  • Fetal abnormalities and other reproductive health problems
  • Prostate cancer

Trichloroethylene Exposure Lawsuit

The symptoms above can develop many years after acute or chronic TCE exposure. Because of this delay, in some cases, doctors treating former Camp Lejeune soldiers, workers, and residents may not have identified exposure to TCE as the culprit.

If you may have suffered a TCE exposure at Camp Lejeune and were later diagnosed with one of the water contamination symptoms above, you may receive significant financial compensation. We are presently handling and investigating numerous claims related to trichloroethylene exposure at Camp Lejeune. Further, we anticipate filing a number of lawsuits related to such exposure over the coming year. Remember, every trichloroethylene exposure lawsuit must be filed in the United States Federal Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

Video Transcript: Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Matt Dolman:
Hi. So in this video, I'm going to discuss the symptoms of Camp Lejeune water contamination here with veteran trial lawyer, Stan Gipe. He's my business partner at Dolman Law Group. Stan, today, we're going to discuss some of the common conditions that we're seeing that veterans are showing up with, and their families, who spend time either at MCAS New River, which is Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, or at Camp Lejeune, which we more commonly see in terms of the ads that are going all day long on television. What are some of the common symptoms that you're seeing? Do you want me to just go through the list of diseases and just run them down?

Stan Gipe:
Let's back up a little bit. Camp Lejeune is something the government's known about a long time. And if you look as far back as... Oh, heck. I forget. It was back in like the '90s. We started seeing some legislation pushed forward where we're starting to grant medical benefits to people with Camp Lejeune issues. And then, oh, we're going to grant disability benefits to service members. And then things advance where now we can get disability benefits for family members of service members. So the government's been acknowledging all along that there was a problem with Camp Lejeune and that there were certain diseases and cancers and manifestations from the poor quality of the water. It wasn't until we-

Matt Dolman:
These are toxic chemicals.

Stan Gipe:
Toxic chemicals. Tons of toxic chemicals in the water, sometimes 3- to 4000 times as much of these toxic chemicals as was allowed by EPA standards. And they resulted in a number of different conditions. Now that we've got this Camp Lejeune Act passed, it's finally codified, and people who have these conditions can seek compensation. And Matt, maybe you can go into a little bit some of these conditions are actually so strongly related to the water and the chemicals at Camp Lejeune that they're called presumptive conditions, where all you have to prove is that you've got this condition and that you were on the base for 30 days during the time period. That's it. [inaudible 00:02:03]

Matt Dolman:
And time period is January 1st, 1957 to December 31st, 1987. So long as you show that you spent 30 days on the base, either as a family member, contractor, or an actual veteran, you were there at the base, you qualify. I'm just going to go through the symptoms and diseases real quick. And it's breast cancer, bladder cancer, female infertility, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, hepatic steatosis, miscarriage, lung cancer, leukemia, multiple myeloma, scleroderma, myelodysplastic syndromes, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, neurobehavioral effects, which runs a general gamut of issues, renal toxicity, and finally Parkinson's disease, which is a very serious neurological disease.
What these are related to, though, is three main chemicals that were found in the water, in the drinking water and water supply at Camp Lejeune, and that is TCE, PCE, and benzene. TCE is trichloroethylene. PCE is perchloroethylene. And benzene. We all know these are known carcinogens. And the government knew about this. And much of it came from improper disposal of chemical solvents. Some are used for cleaning metal. Others are used for a dry cleaning facility that was based at Camp Lejeune that began in 1953.
And when they'd done studies in the early '80s, they showed that the water at Camp Lejeune... The EPA allows five parts per billion of PCE in drinking water. That's considered allowable. That's not dangerous. The water at Camp Lejeune had 43 times that amount. Just think about that for a second. 215 parts per billion. This is what our veterans and their family members were exposed to for years upon years in the water that they drank, bathed in, used to clean their clothes. This just was all over them. And the diseases and conditions are horrific, and that's why we're seeing... Unless you're sitting in a cave with your thumbs in your ears, you're seeing the commercials that are running all day long since the passage of the PACT Act, which encompassed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act.

Stan Gipe:
That's what sort of changed everyone's awareness now, because veterans have been knocking at the door on this stuff for years. People have known they've had the symptoms. People even tried to sue on this before, and they'd been shut down by North Carolina's statute of repose, which basically gives people 10 years to file claims under any circumstance. Now this act changed everything. So even if you're someone who tried to make a claim before and was turned down, someone who hasn't explored the claim process before because someone may have told you that you couldn't do it, everything has changed. Everything has changed with the passage of this act. The government is finally trying to do the right thing by the injured veterans and providing real, meaningful compensation to people who were injured.

Matt Dolman:
So the symptoms that we're showing from the toxic water or the volatile organic compounds at Camp Lejeune... What are we seeing? What's the long term effects? At the end of the day, what's the gamut of these cases run? How long do you think it's going to take? And what's the process?

Stan Gipe:
Well, here's what we're looking at. Right now, we've got about a two-year administrative window. So what you want to do is you want to contact an attorney if you've got something going on. First, that list of symptoms you read off is not exhaustive. This is a list of most of the presumptive conditions, meaning all you've got to do is show you've got the condition and lived on the base. There's a whole host of other conditions that can still qualify you to make a claim, they're just not what we call presumptive conditions, meaning they're not the type of conditions that automatically get you through the door. So no matter what you've got going on that you believe may be related to Camp Lejeune, it's always good to call in, have someone talk to you about it, find out if you qualify to make the claim.
But we're talking about lifelong issues with people. We're talking about significant compensation. The government has waived its immunity at this point. You can bring your claim. Two years. Two years, we expect to have most of these resolved in the administrative claims process. So what you've got to do is, we've opened a window. We're trying to send these things in. The government admitted, it's their fault. So it's just a matter of establishing compensation for the people that were injured. That's it right now. And unlike most mass torts or multi-district litigation type of claims, this one, it's more imperative for you to get in on the front end, because we've got that two-year window. So call an attorney right away. Call us right away if you've got any questions, if you might have a Camp Lejeune case, or you might have symptoms from toxic exposure to Camp Lejeune water

Matt Dolman:
For more information... And you might already be on our website, but if you're seeing this on YouTube, it's www.dolmanlaw.com. D like in David, O-L-M-A-N-L-A-W.com. You can reach us time of day at our number, and I hate... Because this number's not related to just medical issues. Also we're personal injury lawyers. It's 833-55CRASH. We're representing Camp Lejeune victims nationwide, and we already have a wide assortment of claims and issues that we're investigating regularly. So give us a call. We stand by. We're ready to offer free consultation and case review.

Stan Gipe:
Matt, I have to tell you, just with the people we've already spoken to, I'm amazed at just the different symptoms we're seeing, some of the relief these people are expressing, saying, "I've known it all along." This is an ongoing issue for these people. It's not something that just popped up. So the amount of satisfaction and what you hear in clients' voices when they finally realize this is being addressed and they're going to receive real money for what's happened to them, it's great. It's really a good feeling.

Matt Dolman:
I 100% agree. Veterans deserve better. Thank you very much.

Stan Gipe:
Yeah. Especially with something the government knew about for so long.

Matt Dolman:
Over three decades. I appreciate your time, Stan. Thank you very much.

Stan Gipe:
Hey, it's always fun.

Symptoms of Tetrachlorethylene (PCE) Exposure

PCE, like TCE, can cause damaging health impacts, both immediately after exposure and over the long term. PCE can enter the body by drinking contaminated water or through inhalation.

Immediate Symptoms of Acute Exposure to PCE

Marines and others who suffered exposure to high levels of PCE at Camp Lejeune may have suffered severe, immediate symptoms, including:

  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Cognitive symptoms, including confusion, decreased memory, and problems following instructions
  • Skin irritation
  • Irritation of the mucus membranes

These symptoms often resolve relatively quickly once an acute PCE exposure ends. Consequently, you may not experience them today if you suffered a PCE exposure at Camp Lejeune, but you may remember specific episodes when they occurred.

PCE, like TCE, can cause damaging health impacts, both immediately after exposure and over the long term. PCE can enter the body by drinking contaminated water or through inhalation. Camp Lejeune families were regularly exposed to PCE through contaminated drinking water. The water at Camp Lejeune had over forty-three (43) times the amount of PCE the EPA deems safe. The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune had such an alarmingly high rate of PCE that residents have a greatly increased risk of numerous health conditions.

Symptoms of Chronic Exposure to PCE

Chronic exposure to PCE at Camp Lejeune can take a heavy toll on brain function, affecting cognition and personality, leading to:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of concentration
  • Short-term memory problems

In many cases, the cognitive and psychological impacts of PCE exposure at Camp Lejeune linger long after the initial exposure. Some individuals subjected to chronic PCE exposure never fully regain their former cognitive abilities or personalities.

In addition, PCE can cross the placental barrier, exposing a gestating fetus to the same chronic PCE exposure suffered by the pregnant mother. In some cases, this can lead to birth defects.

Chronic PCE exposure, such as in the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, can also cause damage to the kidneys and liver, including chronic problems with those vital organs.

The Long-Term Impact of PCE Exposure

Long after authorities at Camp Lejeune stopped drawing water from contaminated wells, the Marines and base families affected may still suffer from the long-term impacts of PCE exposure.

In addition to cognitive and central nervous system damage, individuals exposed to high levels of PCE in Camp Lejeune water may face:

As above, if you served, worked, or resided at Camp Lejeune at any time between the 1950s and the 1980s and later experienced or received a diagnosis of one of the conditions above, you may have the right to receive monetary compensation. Dangerous chemicals entered the Camp Lejeune water. In turn, it negatively impacted the drinking water and affected the drinking water quality and safety.

Contact the Camp Lejeune water contamination attorneys of Dolman Law Group at 866-932-3641, or you can reach out using our online contact page for a free consultation.

Symptoms of Vinyl Chloride Exposure

Marines and their families at Camp Lejeune may have sustained exposure to vinyl chloride in the base's water supply in many ways, including by inhaling water vapor, having skin or eye contact (such as while bathing), or drinking and cooking.

Immediate Symptoms of Acute Vinyl Chloride Exposure

Acute exposure to vinyl chloride can cause:

  • Digestive irritation, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • A sensation of drunkenness or inebriation
  • Numbness or tingling of the limbs
  • Eye irritation
  • Irritation of the mucus membranes

Children and adults can suffer different—though equally severe—symptoms from the same acute vinyl chloride exposure.

Symptoms of Chronic Vinyl Chloride Exposure

Chronic exposure to vinyl chloride can cause a variety of symptoms that Marines and their families may have noticed during the period of their exposure to Camp Lejeune water, including:

  • Liver diseases such as portal hypertension and cirrhosis
  • Cancer, including liver cancer
  • Multiple neuropathies (nerve malfunctions)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Loss of libido
  • Irritability
  • Blood platelet disorders like purpura and thrombocytopenia

Some water contamination symptoms may resolve when chronic vinyl chloride exposure ends, whereas others can last far longer.

Long-Term Symptoms of Vinyl Chloride Exposure

Marines and their families may not have noticed all the symptoms of vinyl chloride exposure at the time of exposure. In many cases, the most damaging water contamination symptoms may have appeared well after initial exposure and long after leaving Camp Lejeune.

Long-term health complications associated with exposure to vinyl chloride include:

  • Cancers (see above)
  • Reproductive health challenges, including decreased fertility
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Decreased libido
  • Developmental problems in children exposed to vinyl chloride in utero

It is believed the water at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s through the 1980s contained toxically high levels of vinyl chloride that subjected Marines and their families to risks of developing all of the symptoms described above. As with other on-base toxic exposures, those affected may not have linked their symptoms to their exposure and may have received diagnoses long after their exposure to the contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune ended.

Victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination were likely exposed to toxic levels of vinyl chloride and may have the right to well-deserved and significant financial compensation.

Symptoms Associated with Benzene Exposure

Benzene exposure may also have caused adverse health impacts for people working and living at Camp Lejeune from the 1950s through the 1980s. You can inhale or ingest benzene, a known carcinogen. Benzene played a large role in the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Immediate Symptoms of Acute Benzene Exposure

Immediately after exposure to benzene, a Marine or other affected individual may have experienced:

  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Stomach irritation, including nausea and vomiting

In some cases, acute benzene exposure can lead to unconsciousness or death at very high levels.

Symptoms of Chronic Benzene Exposure

Chronic benzene exposure can cause many potential health impacts, which include:

  • Decreased red blood cells/anemia
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Potential fertility challenges
  • Increased risk of birth defects when pregnant women faced high levels of benzene exposure
  • Decreased ovary size in women
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Decreased overall immunity

Marines who served at Camp Lejeune and their families may not have recognized that their use and consumption of contaminated water on the base caused these ongoing symptoms. Benzene was found to exist at alarming levels in Camp Lejeune water.

Long-Term Symptoms of Benzene Exposure

Like many other chemicals found in dangerously high concentrations in the Camp Lejeune water supply, benzene can cause an increased risk of cancer, including leukemia. Patients may have also noticed fertility difficulties, including difficulty getting pregnant after toxic exposure or a higher overall risk of developing birth defects due to exposure. These symptoms can linger long after the benzene exposure ends.

If you or your family were exposed to toxic chemicals while living or working at Camp Lejeune, you might have spent decades dealing with unexplained health issues that are consistent with water contamination symptoms. Contact the attorneys of Dolman Law Group at 866-932-3641, or reach out using our online contact page for your free consultation.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome Causally Linked to Camp Lejeune Toxic Water

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a term that relates to a group of cancers wherein immature blood cells located in the bone marrow fail to mature into healthy blood cells. Exposure to benzene has been causally linked to MDS and is one of the biggest risk factors for this type of cancer. Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is likely the cause of MDS in those who resided at the Marine base for an extended period of time. Our law firm is presently investigating and pursuing Camp Lejeune water contamination claims for over forty (40) individuals who have been diagnosed with MDS.

Treatment for MDS includes hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, drugs to increase red blood cell count, blood transfusions, and drug therapy. In certain cases, a bone marrow transplant may be warranted.

Higher Incidence Rate of Adult Leukemia and Aplastic Anemia for Camp Lejeune Veterans

Those exposed to contaminants in the water, such as benzene at Camp Lejeune, are more likely to be diagnosed with either adult leukemia or aplastic anemia as compared to the average person, according to epidemiological models. Individuals with leukemia produce excess white blood cells that simply do not function properly. White blood cells typically fight bacteria and infections. They serve as the front line in defending your immune system.

Symptoms of Leukemia

  • Persistent and consistent fatigue and/or weakness
  • Frequent infections
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlarges spleen
  • Enlarged liver
  • Sudden loss of weight without trying
  • Persistent nosebleeds

Neurobehavioral Effects Related to Camp Lejeune Water

A 2009 National Research Council (NRC) study found a causal link between the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and neurobehavioral effects. Long-term neurobehavioral effects related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can be split into two distinct categories: 1.) Cognitive decline and 2.) motor difficulties.

Cognitive Decline Symptoms Related to Camp Lejeune Water

  • difficulty concentrating
  • memory problems – both long and short-term
  • insomnia
  • headaches
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • fatigue

Motor Difficulties Related to Camp Lejeune Water

  • difficulty walking
  • tremors
  • involuntary movements
  • weakness

Factors That Could Impact Water Contamination Symptoms at Camp Lejeune.

Marines, civilian workers, and families living on base exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may have exhibited and may continue to exhibit exposure-related symptoms. Numerous factors can affect the nature, duration, and severity of the symptoms afflicting any specific individual.

What Chemicals Was I Exposed to From Camp Lejeune Water?

Camp Lejeune shut down two key water processing plants, the Hadnot Point water treatment plant and the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant, after finding high levels of toxic chemicals in the water they treated. Those plants supplied water to different areas of Camp Lejeune.

If you used or ingested contaminated water processed by the Tarawa Terrace plant, you may have suffered higher levels of TCE exposure. Conversely, if you used and/or consumed water processed by the Hadnot Point facility, you may have sustained exposure to elevated levels of PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride. In any event, it is likely that you already have or will eventually experience water contamination symptoms consistent with what has been described in this article.

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

The longer you lived or worked at Camp Lejeune, the more exposure you may have had to the toxic chemicals found in its water supply.

For example, marines who served at Camp Lejeune for just a few months may have faced less cumulative exposure than people who lived and worked on the base for years. Deployed Marines may also have faced less overall exposure than Marines who spent their time in the military at Camp Lejeune. And, of course, family members who lived on base during their spouse or parent's deployment would have consumed much more contaminated water than the deployed Marine.

Unfortunately, daily exposure to Camp Lejeune water has a cumulative effect. The water at Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River posed unreasonable risks to those residing or working at either facility.

How Often Were You Exposed?

Individuals who lived at Camp Lejeune faced higher overall levels of exposure than Marines and civilians who only worked there. Residents tended to bathe in, wash dishes in, and consume toxic contaminated water at Camp Lejeune far more often than those who lived off-base. If you or a loved one are displaying any of the symptoms of water contamination, we want to speak with you immediately.

How Were You Exposed?

People who did not live at Camp Lejeune (but spent time working on the base) likely sustained their exposure by drinking the contaminated Camp Lejeune water.

In contrast, people who lived on the base not only drank contaminated water and ate food cooked in it but also regularly suffered exposure through inhalation or direct skin contact while bathing or performing household tasks. Thus, the daily exposure to the water at Camp Lejeune has led to devastating illnesses and diseases, and we believe the government knew of these risks and did little about it.

Not everyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during this time exhibited noticeable symptoms of toxic exposure to contaminated water. However, even without suffering immediate symptoms, many later developed devastating health complications like cancer, cognitive impairments, central nervous system damage, and developmental problems from the toxic substances in the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

At a minimum, those who spent time at Camp Lejeune have a significantly increased risk of developing serious health conditions.

If you believe that you have symptoms of chemical exposure due to water contamination at Camp Lejeune, seek medical attention as soon as possible. You must tell your doctor about the toxic chemical exposure you were subjected to.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help if You Have Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Exposure

Do you suffer from symptoms associated with exposure to toxic chemicals in the Camp Lejeune water supply between the 1950s and the 1980s? If so, you may have the right to receive significant financial compensation.

As of October 11, 2022, the Dolman Law Group is proud to represent over 120 victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Why Choose Dolman Law Group for Your Water Contamination Lawsuit

Dolman Law Group is a nationally recognized law firm that has recovered over $250 million in damages for injury victims since our inception in 2009. Our injury lawyers have in excess of 130 years of experience handling serious injury claims throughout the U.S.

Matthew Dolman

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney

Matt Dolman is a highly regarded and award-winning injury lawyer. He has been selected by his colleagues (other members of the Florida Bar) as a Florida Superlawyer on four separate occasions. Further, he has been voted by his colleagues as one of Florida's Legal Elite on multiple occasions, including in 2022. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for settlements or verdicts in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has served as lead counsel on over 2000 lawsuits as of date.

Stanley Gipe

Camp Lejeune Lawyer

Stan Gipe is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. This designation connotes that Stan is considered an expert in the field of trial practice. He has served as lead counsel on over 2500 serious injury lawsuits and numerous jury trials.

If you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group today for a free consultation.

The Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions wherein we are not licensed.  Thus, we will follow each State's ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More