Some diseases linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune include:
- Adult-onset leukemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Bladder, kidney, and liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Parkinson’s disease
The primary chemicals believed to have led to these diseases are tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene (TCE). Other potential contaminants include benzene and vinyl chloride.
The Danger Associated With the Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) researched the contaminants at Camp Lejeune. Use of the wells that caused the dangerous drinking water conditions was not discontinued until 1987. ATSDR researchers have continually assessed the associated health risks to as many as one million veterans, military families, and civilian employees of the camp.
Understanding the Toxic Chemicals at Camp Lejeune
Water contamination occurred at two water treatment facilities: Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant. The chemicals of concern in these facilities include the following:
- Tetrachloroethylene: It can be airborne, waterborne, or found in soil. It is used as a cleaner and degreaser. It can also be used as a start to build or compound other chemicals.
- Trichloroethylene: Often used in dry cleaning plants and machine cleaning, it is a colorless liquid. Today, people who come into contact with it are encouraged to wear protective gear and limit exposure.
- Benzene: Colorless with a sweet aroma, benzene does not fully dissolve in water and is used in the manufacture of detergents, pesticides, and certain types of rubber materials.
- Vinyl chloride: This chemical is formed by the breakdown of other chemicals, including trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. It is used in the manufacture of plastic and packing material.
If you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, expert consultants will evaluate the chemicals that led to your diagnosis.
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Waterborne Diseases That Challenge Your Family’s Health
Diseases connected to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune can damage your health and change your life. If you or someone you love was exposed to the water’s toxic chemicals and received an adverse medical diagnosis, a personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation.
Some of the waterborne diseases that affect(ed) the residents of Camp Lejeune include:
Symptoms of leukemia in adults can include changes in body temperature, chronic fatigue, chronic infections, unexplained weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, and bruising.
Adult-onset leukemia is diagnosed with a physical exam, lab tests, and bone marrow tests. According to Mayo Clinic research, adult leukemia can occur in many forms. These forms include:
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
If you or someone you love was diagnosed with one of these forms of leukemia, you may require costly and extensive treatments, including traditional and targeted chemotherapy. You may also require radiation, a bone marrow transplant, immunotherapy, and cell engineering.
Symptoms of aplastic anemia can include:
- Unexplained and ongoing fatigue
- Infections that tend to linger
- Susceptibility to bruising or bleeding
According to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute research, aplastic anemia (also known as bone marrow failure) is rarely diagnosed. It means your bone marrow does not generate enough blood cells for your body to function at its best. It is diagnosed via lab tests that measure your bone marrow and blood cell count.
Treatment typically consists of:
- Blood transfusions
- Bone marrow transplant
- Medications to prevent stem cell loss
- Medications to promote new blood cell growth
Your health care team will regularly monitor your health and may also prescribe annual flu shots to protect your immune system.
According to Mayo Clinic research, the symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- Blood in your urine
- Frequent urination
- Pain when urinating
- Unexplained back pain
Bladder cancer is diagnosed with a cystoscopy, biopsy, tests of your urine, and imaging exams, like x-rays and CT scans. In addition to diagnosing bladder cancer, these and other tests will determine the stage of the cancer and dictate your treatment options.
Treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy targeting the bladder, chemotherapy to treat your entire body, radiation to destroy cancer cells, and immunotherapy to fight cancer cells throughout your body.
The following signs and symptoms of kidney cancer might prompt you to seek medical care:
- Blood in your urine
- Chronic back pain
- Appetite loss
- Inexplicable weight loss
- Tiredness and fever
Your doctor may conduct tests to reach a definitive diagnosis. These can include blood, urine, and imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRIs. They may also conduct a biopsy to test the affected areas. Imaging scans and other exams can also help your doctor understand the stage of your cancer.
Treatments can include cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation, removal of the affected kidney, immunotherapy, and radiation.
A diagnosis of liver cancer is usually made with blood tests, imaging tests, and liver biopsies. According to Mayo Clinic research, many people are symptom-free in the disease’s early stages. As it progresses, symptoms might include:
- Effortless weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upper abdomen pain and swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue and weakness
- Signs of jaundice
- White, chalky stool
Treatment can include a liver transplant (when available), removal of the tumor, heating or freezing cancer cells, and chemotherapy. Treatment can also include supportive care, such as psychological care and support as needed to cope with your diagnosis.
Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that forms in your plasma cells. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.
According to Mayo Clinic research, multiple myeloma causes cancerous plasma cells to accumulate in your bone marrow and limit blood cell growth. Symptoms that might lead to this diagnosis can include:
- Spine or chest pain
- Nausea and constipation
- Appetite loss
- Cognitive confusion
- Fatigue and weight loss
- Chronic infections
- Leg weakness or numbness
- Excessive thirst
Once diagnosed, your treatment plan can include chemotherapy, immunotherapy, bone marrow transplant, corticosteroids, and radiation.
Mayo Clinic research cites Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a cancer of your lymphatic system. It causes your white blood cells to grow abnormally and form into tumors. Its symptoms include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Pain or swelling in the abdomen
- Chest pain and coughing
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent fatigue
- Fever and night sweats
- Unexplained weight loss
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is diagnosed with a thorough physical exam, blood and urine tests, CT and MRI scans, and a test of your lymph nodes. Your doctor may also conduct a bone marrow test and a spinal tap. Diagnosis will lead to treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and target drug therapy.
Seek medical care if you were exposed to contaminated water and experience the following symptoms:
- Tremors and shaking
- Lack of control of your feet and facial muscles
- Noticeably poor posture and balance
- Loss of your ability to speak and write
According to Mayo Clinic research, Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed via physical and neurological exams. Treatment can include a variety of medications and surgical intervention.
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The Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune Caused Other Conditions
Diseases aren’t the only things the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune caused. The contaminants also led to:
- Birth defects. Some pregnant women at Camp Lejeune who drank the contaminated water gave birth to children with birth defects. Examples include cleft palates and spina bifida.
- Miscarriage. The contaminated water also caused some women to miscarry. That’s because the chemicals in the water affected the fetuses’ development.
- Neurobehavioral complications. The chemicals led some Camp Lejeune residents to develop neurobehavioral problems, such as anxiety, depression, and confusion.
If you or a loved one experienced any of these effects, you have rights. You can seek recovery for your losses through a claim or lawsuit.
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Marines and Their Families Were Affected by Camp Lejeune’s Toxic Water
If you were a member of the military or a military family member, you could have been exposed to the toxins in the camp’s drinking water.
According to ATSDR and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the potential damage to your health will depend on the following factors:
- The types and amounts of chemicals you were exposed to
- The length, timing, and level of your chemical exposure
- Previously diagnosed illnesses and prescribed medications
Your legal team will obtain your medical history and medical records to evaluate your condition. From there, they can advise you of your legal options and move forward with your case.
Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Lawsuit?
You could be eligible for financial compensation if you resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days between August 1953 to December 1987. Both veterans and their loved ones can pursue compensation through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Pursuing compensation requires documentation. For instance, if you’re seeking damages as a veteran’s family member, you must provide proof of your relationship to the veteran, as well as proof of your residency at Camp Lejeune.
When you partner with an injury lawyer, they can evaluate what information you need to secure compensation. They can also advise you on the decision review process if your claim gets denied.
You Can File a Wrongful Death Claim on Behalf of a Late Loved One
Millions of veterans and their families have called Camp Lejeune home. Yet, countless people developed fatal conditions that resulted in their passing. If you lost a loved one due to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination, you have legal options.
Filing a wrongful death case can quickly get confusing, however. You’ll need to assert the cause of your loved one’s passing, the cost of your damages, and their residency at Camp Lejeune.
By consulting an injury lawyer, you can get help filing your wrongful death case. They will compile all necessary evidence to support your claim and fight for what you deserve.
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Compensation You and Your Loved Ones Can Recover
By filing a claim with VA or suing the U.S. government, you can seek:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Ongoing pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional distress
Do not risk inadvertently overlooking compensation or miscalculating the monetary value of your case. A lawyer in your area can calculate your losses and ensure they are not undervalued or underpaid.
Do Not Wait to Seek Justice for Yourself and Your Family
Any legal action you take against the negligent party in your Camp Lejeune case has a filing deadline. Because your case will involve a government entity, the usual personal injury statute of limitations may be altered.
A good way to ensure you understand the applicable statute of limitations is to review your case with a local attorney. He can clarify the filing deadline, explain how certain factors of your case will affect its timing, and ensure your case is filed within the allotted period.
A Personal Injury Law Firm Will Help You Fight for Financial Recovery
Proving the water contamination at Camp Lejeune caused your condition can be a daunting task. While you concentrate on your health care needs, your lawyer can get to work on your case.
Your lawyer can:
- Contact and communicate with the liable party
- Review what you can recover
- Compile your medical records into an ongoing file
- Advocate for what you need
The law firm that represents you will also make sure you receive regular updates on your case’s progression. Your lawyer will also make sure your case meets all required legal parameters and is filed on time.
Build a Strong Case for Monetary Compensation
If you were recently diagnosed with a qualifying condition related to water contamination, a lawyer will:
- Consult medical experts to review your health care records
- Establish a connection between Camp Lejeune’s water and your current medical condition
- Assess the long- and short-term monetary value of your case
No one expects to suffer ill health because of their drinking water. If you suffered harm from a waterborne disease at Camp Lejeune, a personal injury lawyer will assign financial liability to the at-fault party and fight for monetary recovery.
Contact Our Case Review Team to Get Started Right Away
Were you or someone you love diagnosed with a life-threatening disease related to the drinking water contamination at Camp Lejeune? At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help families like yours obtain compensation. Contact one of our case review team members to get started now.