Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: Impacts On Human Health

    Over a million people may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The full extent of contaminated water’s effects may not be known until years or even decades pass. 

    Currently, researchers are still studying how exposure to water contamination may have affected people’s health in the long term. Still, there have been some conditions that have been linked to water contamination.

    There was a significant amount of benzene in the water at Camp Lejeune, according to the National Library of Medicine, as well as chloroform and vinyl chloride in the water at the facility. It is well known that these chemicals are capable of causing cancer, congenital disabilities, and various other health conditions.

    What Caused The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

    Camp Lejeune’s water supply was contaminated by spills and leaks from underground storage tanks, landfills, and businesses. Consequently, various buildings and the water serving them were polluted with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). There were several VOCs present, including:

    • Solvents used in dry cleaning
    • Chemical degreasers
    • Almost seventy 70 other hazardous chemicals

    Health Conditions And Symptoms Of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

    According to the CDC, sixteen of the health conditions and symptoms that have been linked to high levels of contamination in the water supply at Camp Lejeune include:

    Bladder Cancer

    Evidence suggests that those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may have developed bladder cancer due to the contamination. There is a syndrome called bladder cancer in which the bladder’s tissues are affected by malignant (cancer) cells.

    Many people risk developing some of the same risk factors as others. An example of such factors includes old age, gender, smoking status, and exposure to environmental toxins, to name a few. There is a higher risk of bladder cancer among the elderly, as their bodies have developed abnormalities in their cells for longer.

    Even though there is no definitive cure for bladder cancer, early detection and treatment can improve your chances of recovering from this disease and reduce its associated symptoms. Making lifestyle adjustments and scheduling regular screening examinations are two proactive steps an individual can take to maintain good health if they are at high risk for bladder cancer.

    Breast Cancer

    Camp Lejeune water contamination is associated with breast cancer, the second most common type of cancer. Research has shown that women exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water are much more likely to develop breast cancer than women who have never been exposed to it.

    Several different factors can explain this increased risk of cancer. It is thought that the contaminants in the water can disrupt the normal function of the breasts, thus increasing the risk of breast cancer by disrupting the normal function of the breasts. The contamination can also damage DNA, which is thought to be the cause of cancer development due to the damage to DNA.

    Women need to be aware of the symptoms of breast cancer when it comes to being aware of the signs. Breast changes such as changes in the size or shape of the breasts, changes in the skin’s texture over the breasts, lumps in the breasts, and discharge from the nipple are all signs to look for. You must see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.

    Cervical Cancer

    Another type of cancer that has been associated with Camp Lejeune contamination is cervical cancer. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus and where this type of cancer develops.

    There is a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is responsible for the development of cervical cancer. According to research, the contaminated water in Camp Lejeune might have increased the risk of cervical cancer in women by exposing them to HPV, which may increase their risk of developing the disease.

    It is important to note that cervical cancer is associated with several symptoms. A few of these symptoms are bleeding between periods, bleeding after a sexual relationship, and pain during intercourse.

    Esophageal Cancer

    Food and liquids are transported from the mouth to the stomach via the hollow, muscular tube called the esophagus. The incidence of esophageal cancer in the United States is relatively low, at about 1% of all cancer diagnoses.

    A five-year survival rate of only about 20% makes it one of the deadliest types of cancer. As a result, cancer often goes undetected and spreads to other body parts before it is detected.

    If diagnosed with esophageal cancer, you may have difficulty swallowing, lose weight, or experience back or throat pain. The DNA of the cells in the esophagus may have been damaged by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.

    Kidney Cancer

    An individual with kidney cancer will develop tumors in the cells of the kidney, which can then spread to other parts of the body. During kidney function, waste from the blood is filtered from the body and removed.

    It has been shown that contaminated water increases the risk of kidney cancer. The cause is exposure to chemicals such as benzene and trichloroethylene. The risk is most significant in people who have been exposed to the water for a prolonged period of time.

    The most common symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, abdominal pain, and a mass on the side. Symptoms such as these should be reported to your doctor right away.

    Liver Cancer

    Increased liver cancer risk has also been linked to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. Exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune doubled men’s chances of developing liver cancer, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).

    The contaminated water exposed people to chemicals such as benzene and trichloroethylene, which may have caused liver cancer. Cancer can develop when these chemicals damage DNA.

    Liver cancer is associated with a variety of symptoms. Weight loss, fatigue, abdominal pain, and jaundice are some of these symptoms.

    Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

    The risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma was two times greater for those who drank the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This cancer begins in the cells of the lymph system, which is part of the body’s immune system.

    The symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. Contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has the elements to create a toxic environment in the body and suppress the immune system.

    It is essential to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Early detection is essential for the successful treatment of this type of cancer.

    Adult Leukemia

    Abnormal growth of blood cells characterizes leukemia of the bone marrow. Healthy blood cells may be crowded out by these abnormal cells, resulting in serious health issues. Water contamination at Camp Lejeune contributed more to the development of adult leukemia.

    It has been found that adults with leukemia tend to be tired, feverish, prone to weight loss, and easily bruised or bleeding. Chemotherapy or radiation will most likely be required to treat adult leukemia.

    Benzene, a known carcinogen that causes leukemia, is present in the water at Camp Lejeune. It is essential to discuss your risk of leukemia with your doctor if you have been exposed to contaminated water.

    Aplastic Anemia

    It has been reported that chemicals in the water at Camp Lejeune may cause aplastic anemia, a condition that results in a lack of blood cells in the body. Exposure to benzene and trichloroethylene has been linked to aplastic anemia.

    You may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and easy bleeding or bruising if you have aplastic anemia. A bone marrow transplant is the only treatment for aplastic anemia.

    Symptoms can come on suddenly or gradually, and they can be mild or severe. An increase in aplastic anemia risks was found in contaminated water exposed to people at Camp Lejeune.

    Multiple Myeloma

    Exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune is associated with an increase of 56% in cancer incidence. Plasma cells in the bone marrow are attacked by this cancer, resulting in problems with blood cell production.

    The symptoms of multiple myeloma are similar to those of other diseases, making it difficult to diagnose at an early stage. The symptoms can range from fatigue to bone pain or fractures, frequent infections to nausea, and anemia.

    Various genetic and environmental factors are believed to be responsible for Multiple Myeloma, but the exact cause remains unknown.

    Renal Toxicity

    Renal toxicity is also a common symptom in those exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Kidney failure can be caused by renal toxicity, which damages the kidneys.

    Aside from frequent urination and blood in the urine, renal toxicity can cause swelling in your ankles, feet, or legs and nausea and weakness.

    A person who believes they may have been exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune should seek medical attention right away if they believe they have been exposed to contaminated water.


    Hardening and thickening of the skin are symptoms of scleroderma. It may also affect internal organs, such as the lungs, the heart, and the kidneys.

    Depending on the affected organs, scleroderma may cause different symptoms. A person’s skin may become hardened and thickened, itch, burn or swell, and suffer from Raynaud’s phenomenon (reduced blood flow to the extremities).

    A patient with scleroderma with internal organ damage may experience shortness of breath, heartburn, swelling of the arms and legs, fatigue, and numbness or tingling.

    Scleroderma cannot be cured, but there are treatments to help manage the symptoms. Overactive immune systems and contaminated water may be linked to scleroderma, even though its exact cause is unknown.

    Hepatic Steatosis

    Hepatic steatosis, more commonly known as fatty liver disease, is a common symptom associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination. Fat accumulates in the liver cells as a result of this condition.

    Several symptoms are associated with hepatic steatoses, such as fatigue, weight loss, and right upper abdominal pain. It is possible for fatigued livers to progress to more severe conditions, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

    It is generally recommended that individuals with hepatic steatosis change their lifestyle, including diet and exercise. In some cases may be necessary to take medication to control the symptoms.

    Infertility In Women

    Water pollution at Camp Lejeune has also been linked to increased infertility among women. After a year of unprotected sex, an infertility diagnosis is made if the couple cannot conceive.

    Infertility is a complex condition that often has no clear cause, and many factors contribute. Water contamination at Camp Lejeune may have contributed to an increased risk of infertility in women after exposure to certain chemicals.

    This condition for a woman can cause many serious consequences. Discuss your fertility options with your doctor if you believe your water was contaminated at Camp Lejeune.

    Lung Cancer

    In its early stages, lung cancer can be extremely difficult to detect and is one of the most deadly types of cancer. Several chemicals, including benzene, increase the risk of lung cancer. Camp Lejeune’s water is known to contain benzene.

    A chronic cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer. Loss of appetite, shortness of breath, and chest pain are potential symptoms. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms as soon as possible. In addition to these conditions, other conditions can also cause them.

    Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery are all used to treat lung cancer. A patient’s treatment depends on the stage of cancer and the type of cancer.

    Neurobehavioral Effects (Like ALS & Parkinson’s Disease)

    Several studies have reported that VOCs in drinking water can have neurobehavioral effects on children. These effects include attention deficits, learning disabilities, social difficulties, and aggressive behavior.

    As a result of contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) were also associated with an increased risk. Researchers have not fully understood the potential health effects of VOC exposure. Because these neurobehavioral effects can last a lifetime, they are particularly concerning.

    Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer is cancer that affects the prostate gland. Prostates are small walnut-shaped glands in males that produce seminal fluid needed to nourish and transport sperm.

    Most men who served at Camp Lejuene will develop camp Lejeune water contamination prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Many types of prostate cancer grow slowly and are confined to the prostate gland, where they do not cause serious harm. Some types of prostate cancer are slow growing and require minimal or no treatment, while others are aggressive and spread rapidly.

    The best chance to successfully treat VA high-risk prostate cancer camp Lejeune water contamination is to detect it early – while it’s still contained within the prostate gland.

    Final Words

    Several severe health conditions are associated with contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Your doctor should be informed of your possible symptoms and risks if you think you were exposed. You can protect your health by detecting and treating problems early.

    If you are considering filing a Camp Lejeune claim, you must seek the advice and representation of a qualified attorney as soon as possible. Are you interested in learning more? Read on to know more about the Camp Lejeune contaminated water lawsuit timeline.

    To read about different types of disability and the associated cash compensation for the affectees of Camp Lejuene water contamination, check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!