Many health effects can be caused by water contamination. From 1953 to 1987, the contaminated water used at Camp Lejeune caused health problems for many of the service members and their families.
The ongoing health impact to those exposed is a cautionary tale of the dangers of water contamination. Here are some ways exposure can affect your health.
Studies have indicated that exposure to contaminated water can result in an increased risk of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of bladder cancer is 30% higher among people who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune than among the general population.
In addition, a study from Duke University showed that men exposed to water contaminated with chemicals known as trichloroethylene were more likely to develop kidney cancer than men in the general population. Women who were exposed also had an increased risk of developing kidney cancer than women in the general population.
While the studies provide evidence that exposure to contaminated water can increase your risk of certain cancers, it is difficult to know exactly how much risk there is since the studies have not conclusively shown a direct cause-and-effect relationship.
Exposure to contaminated water can also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. A 2011 study by the Environmental Working Group found that children exposed to pollutants in the water at Camp Lejeune were more likely to develop symptoms of both diseases by the time they reached 70.
In addition, a 2012 study found that exposure to toxic chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by as much as 80% for men and 60% for women. These findings suggest that environmental contaminants may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Exposure to contaminated water also puts you at risk for heart disease. A 2004 study of former Marines who used Camp Lejeune’s water supply between 1957 and 1987 found that those who drank the contaminated water had a higher risk of having a heart attack than those who didn’t drink it. The study also found that drinking contaminated water was associated with an increased risk of heart failure.
Based on these results, the researchers estimated that drinking the contaminated water contributed to more than 2,000 heart attacks and more than 4,000 cases of heart failure during that time period. These findings confirm the results of previous studies that have shown a link between exposure to contaminated water and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reproductive issues have been linked to exposure to contaminated water as well. Some of the issues include endometriosis, miscarriage, stillbirths, and fertility problems. These issues can be caused by chemicals in the water or pesticides that are used by the military in the surrounding land. Several studies have linked infertility in women to exposure to these chemicals and pesticides.
For example, a 2013 study found a significant association between childhood exposures to chlorinated solvents and increased odds of reproductive disorders in adulthood. These disorders included endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, infertility, and pregnancy loss. This research suggests that drinking water contaminated with herbicides and other harmful chemicals may be an important risk factor for certain reproductive health problems.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Studies have shown that people who drink water contaminated with arsenic can develop chronic kidney disease. Drinking water contaminated with arsenic has also been linked to an increased risk of liver cancer, lung disease, skin problems, hearing loss, and diabetes.
If you were injured as a result of being exposed to contaminated water at Lejeune Marine Corps Base, you might be entitled to compensation under state and federal law. In many cases, filing a claim on your own is not the best option, as the claims process can be complicated. An experienced attorney can help you obtain compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to your injury. Hiring a personal injury law firm that has extensive experience handling military-related injuries can provide you with many advantages, including access to an extensive network of experts and resources who can evaluate your case and help protect your rights and interests. A qualified lawyer can also help you pursue all possible avenues of compensation in your case to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.