This is one of the worst water contamination cases in history. A devastating tragedy whose far-reaching destruction is still being experienced in people’s lives today: men, women, and children. These victims are soldiers. They are marines (and families) who dedicated themselves to this country and who now are losing their lives to cancer and various other life-threatening health issues. These soldiers and families were commissioned by the military to live on base at Camp Lejeune where common practices allowed for the dumping of oil, industrial wastewater, and potentially radioactive toxic chemicals into storm drains. These negligent practices allowed toxic chemicals to seep into the water tables and ultimately contaminate the water supply on base.
A tragedy of epic proportions.
Between 1952 – 1987 the men, women, and children living at Camp Lejeune drank and bathed in water laced with such toxic chemicals as trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical used as a degreaser, perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning solvent, and benzene, an industrial solvent. What’s worse, these hazards were no secret. During the 1970’s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled Camp Lejeune a major polluter. Regulations were added by the military in 1984 outlining the proper technique required for disposal of hazardous waste, such as organic compounds, which could possibly infiltrate and contaminate drinking water. Reports show that as early as April 1980, leakage problems from buried fuel tanks could make water contamination a possibility. Regardless of prior warning signs, the military did not begin testing the drinking water until 1982. By this time, the damage was done. The vast majority of people that lived on the base over that three-decade time span bathed in and ingested tap water contaminated by dangerous chemicals and carcinogens found in the water supply. The results are devastating: dozens of cases of male breast cancer (which is extremely rare) and literally thousands of more cases reported of cancers, leukemia, birth defects, and other rare illnesses.
Contamination: The Facts
As early as WWII, the United States Air Force and other Military bases used and disposed of chemical degreasers and other toxic substances that were later determined to contaminate drinking water and pose multiple health risks.
The Risks Include
- Reproductive disorders
- Birth defects
- Multiple other serious difficulties
Countless military personnel, their families, and private individuals living and working in the near vicinity of the bases may have been affected by these contaminants, through drinking water, general water usage, and exposure through vapor seepage.
The four most alarming contaminants are:
Scientific studies show that some or all of these chemical compounds have breached the ground water supply on several of our US Military Bases and in some instances, have affected civilian properties adjacent to the bases including churches, schools, and private wells. Currently, on-going research is being conducted on military bases around the country and on properties directly adjacent to these bases to identify just how widespread this contamination may be.
We encourage you to share your story with us.
Also visit The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten to learn more about contamination at Camp Lejeune.
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