2014 Study Reveals Higher Cancer Risk for Residents
A government study from earlier this year reveals that Marine residents and their families at Camp Lejeune between 1975 – 1985 were more likely to die of various forms of cancer, as well as ALS, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The official government report was released in January of this year and bears particular relevance as the United States judicial and legislative branches volley back-and-forth over who should qualify for aid or potential legal restitution.
In fact, this fall, Camp Lejeune Marines and their families were dealt another setback as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a controversial ruling that supports placing a 10-year time limit on lawsuits for plaintiffs seeking damages from toxic exposure. Seeing as many of the cases predate that time limit by decades – and that many symptoms took years to manifest or be accurately diagnosed – poses problems for victims. However, if more government tests like this are conducted, in the proper clinical setting, the tide would perhaps invariably turn, in favor of the victims.
“This is another positive study that shows a definite impact of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune on the Marines who were there during 1975-1985,” Richard Clapp, an epidemiologist at Boston University, told NBC News. “It shows an increase in deaths due to several types of cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma, as well as Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) with increasing exposure to specific chemicals in the drinking water.”
In the eyes of victims like Jerry Ensminger, who lost his 9-year old daughter, Janey, to toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune in 1985, these tests have been slow to come. “It’s like pulling teeth with these [government] people,” Ensminger told NBC News. “How can they get a full picture when they won’t do the studies?” Hopefully tests such as this, along with the support of key members of congress such as Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC and Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-NC – two North Carolina congressional leaders who introduced legislation to help victims exposed to contaminated water – will be enough to bring awareness and anger to the surface and ultimately force a reassessment of the latest court ruling. Until then, the victims and their families strive to keep the faith.
Another Camp Lejeune victim, Mike Partain, says he feels vindicated by the study. The 44-year-old insurance adjuster was born at Camp Lejeune and believes his male breast cancer (which is extremely rare), was caused by the contaminated water: “I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I have never done drugs. I don’t fit into any of the risk categories,” he said. It’s clear to him, as well as to many others, that the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Marine leaders who knew about and concealed the dangers for years. But that’s another story…or rather, just another hurdle in this very long and Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a controversial ruling that supports exhausting battle for victims and their families. Read the Full Article
Help Is Available
You could be among the many who have been dangerously affected by exposure to this polluted water. If you or your loved ones lived at US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC between 1953-1987 and have experienced health problems or ailments we would like to hear your story. It’s possible that your case qualifies as part of a class-action lawsuit. Learn More