Can military service cause leukemia?
This is a common question asked in recent years by veterans, civilian workers, and their family members stationed at the Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, training camp between the 1950s and the 1980s.
Suppose you have received a leukemia diagnosis and were exposed to toxic water at Camp LeJeune or MCAS New River in Tarawa Terrace.
In that case, you may be entitled to financial compensation for paying medical expenses, relief for lost wages, and money spent on recovering restitution.
Learn more about the water crisis at Camp LeJeune below and if you can secure compensation for serious health issues caused by illegal industrial activities and the negligence of military personnel.
What Happened to the Drinking Water Supply at Camp LeJeune?
Between August 1953 and December 1987, the National Research Council determined that Marine Corps veterans, National Guard members and reserve members, other military service members, and their children had suffered toxic exposure due to hazardous chemicals and solvents dumped into the Hadnot Point water system.
The contaminants detected in the water supply at the U.S. Marine Corps military base and training facilities in the surrounding area were over 3,400 times the amount of chemicals deemed safe by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.
Toxic Substances Found In the Camp LeJeune Water Supply
Unfortunately, there were more than 70 different toxic chemicals discovered to be present in the water supply at Camp LeJeune by the Department of Veterans Affairs, including some of the most toxic chemicals known to man below:
- Vinyl chloride
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Trichloroethylene (TCE)
It’s hard to believe that things that are so devastating could happen in real life and not just on a smart TV show like House or 30 Rock.
A study on the toxicology of benzene alone provided information that benzene is a multi-organ carcinogen.
In addition, this chemical has been proven to be a human leukemogenic substance that promotes leukemia development.
Adult Leukemia Caused By Contaminated Water at Camp LeJeune & MCAS New River
According to the Mayo Clinic, leukemia is cancer affecting the red blood cells, lymph nodes, and bone marrow.
This condition develops due to damage to blood-forming tissues in the body, most often white blood cells, and results in the uncontrolled reproduction of cells.
Although leukemia commonly presents as a childhood cancer, it can occur in adults, particularly in certain conditions.
Medical evidence indicates these cells don’t function normally and don’t die off when they should, causing the blood to become overcrowded until malignant ones outnumber healthy blood cells.
Acute myeloid leukemia, the most common from chemical and radiation exposure at Camp LeJeune, moves rapidly and requires aggressive treatment to improve prognosis or quality of life.
The origins of leukemia are numerous, and there may be insufficient evidence to establish a cause in some cases.
Service to the military can be one of the origins of cancer, or genetic mutations may play a role.
If you suspect a service connection or military association to cancer of any kind, it’s important to have a team of professionals on your side.
Part of the team should focus on your medical care, while others dedicate themselves to the legal process to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Symptoms of leukemia include:
- Easy bruising
- Excessive bleeding
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Night sweats
- Chills or fever
- Body aches
- Recurring infections
Other serious or life-threatening illnesses related to contamination of the water systems at Camp LeJeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River include but are not limited to the following conditions:
- Congenital disabilities
- Myelodysplastic syndrome
- Multiple myeloma
- Aplastic anemia
- Liver cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Spina bifida
- Cardiac defects
- Esophageal cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Breast cancer
Medical Care & Disability Compensation For People With Health Issues Caused By Contaminants in the Water at Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune
In 2017, the U.S. Senate voted on a bill that would establish a presumptive service connection between toxin exposure at Camp LeJeune, allowing veterans and military families access health plans and medical care through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
The bill also requires the Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to review updated information about the impact of the water contamination at LeJeune every 3 years to determine if any new health conditions can be assigned a presumption of service connection so additional victims can seek benefits.
Unfortunately, this legislation only offered VA health care, and veterans and their families could not obtain disability benefits to cover lost wages and earning capacity.
It would be several years before victims were allowed to sue for financial compensation for illnesses caused by chemical exposure at Camp LeJeune during active or inactive duty training.
The Camp LeJeune Justice Act of 2022
In August 2022, the Biden administration signed the Camp LeJeune Justice Act into law.
This final rule under The Honoring Our PACT Act allows former service members and the family members of veterans stationed at Camp LeJeune during the qualifying period to file lawsuits for health effects caused by chronic exposure to chemicals at LeJeune’s water treatment facilities.
To be considered eligible, you will need to have the following documents and confidential information on hand:
- Military orders showing that you or a family member spent at least 30 consecutive or nonconsecutive days during military activities at Camp LeJeune
- Medical records showing that you have been diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition and your disability rating if you’ve been assigned one
Get Help Filing a Claim to Pursue Compensation For Serious Health Problems Caused By Water Contamination
United States Marine Corps soldiers, their families, and other victims of the Camp LeJeune water crisis may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government for health problems caused by prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals.
If you believe you were affected by the water contamination at the base, please click the button below to be redirected to our contact form and discuss your claim with our team today.
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