Exposure to certain chemicals can have detrimental health consequences for the people affected. Sometimes, we don’t realize the impact of these chemicals until years later. But these problems can impact anyone, from adults to unborn children still developing in the womb.
Those at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 unknowingly used water contaminated with dangerous chemicals. Some people have experienced severe health problems related to this prolonged exposure. The health impacts of this exposure damage physical health and well-being, but they can also cause financial strain because of the medical costs involved. Getting appropriate legal help can increase your chances of getting proper compensation. Our Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyers can handle your case from start to finish.
Contamination of the Water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina
The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in North Carolina were potentially impacted by water contaminated with toxic chemicals.
The four main chemicals were trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. They were in the water for more than 30 years, and the people using the water had no idea. Eventually, the presence of the chemicals came to light. Those supplying water to the area shut down the wells supplying the water in the late 1980s, but for many, the damage was underway.
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Who Suffered from Camp Lejeune Contamination Effects?
Many individuals the tainted water at Camp Lejeune impacted were service members and their families, those in the reserves, and National Guard members. Thousands spent time at Camp Lejeune over the decades.
NBC News estimates the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune affected between 500,000 and 1 million people during that 30-year-plus span. The contaminated water impacted everyone exposed for an extended period, from babies in utero to the toughest marine. The prolonged exposure has likely contributed to multiple health problems.
Camp Lejeune Contamination Effects on Health and Possible Medical Treatment
The health problems linked to chemical exposure at Camp Lejeune range from mild to severe. Not everyone who was around the water developed health problems; however, the time and the amount of time of your exposure can affect the health risks of Camp Lejeune water contamination.
Physical Impacts on People
Researchers have found that the water’s chemicals might contribute to several health problems, including kidney, liver, prostate, rectal, brain, lung, and soft tissue cancers, per the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). They may also contribute to health concerns like scleroderma, a skin disorder, and Parkinson’s disease.
The impact can also be significant on unborn children, increasing the risk of miscarriages, low birth weight, neural tube defects, and other significant malformations.
The Economic Impact of Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination
Treatment for cancer and other health problems can be costly. For example, treatments with chemotherapy or radiation are often not a one-time deal; many people require multiple treatments or surgeries, and each one costs a lot of money.
Often, the payments can be large and confusing, depending on your health insurance. As more and more people need cancer treatment, it contributes to immense healthcare costs and strains the healthcare system.
Impact on Other Areas of Health and Well-Being
For those who have developed these medical problems, there are dangers for other areas of health as well. Physical health problems can impact mental, emotional, and social health. For example, women who experienced miscarriages must deal with immense grief and psychological trauma.
People who develop cancer may experience stress, depression, and social withdrawal. Veterans and their families may also feel a certain sense of betrayal and resentment toward the U.S. government.
Legal Options for Those Experiencing Camp Lejeune Contamination Effects
Currently, U.S. veterans can apply for disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) if they were at Camp Lejeune during the specified time frame and later developed specific health problems. Similar help with medical bills is available to veteran family members.
If the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 becomes law, affected individuals would be able to file lawsuits against the government for compensation. However, veterans and others affected by the contaminated water cannot sue the government right now. Part of this is the law in North Carolina’s statute of limitations, which restricts how long people have to file legal action.
Make Sure You Seek Medical Attention
If you’re suffering from Camp Lejeune contamination effects and are considering filing a case, make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible. You will need a medical diagnosis to help link your illness or injury to your exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Furthermore, you need to begin treatment to prevent your condition from worsening.
Protect your right to seek compensation by getting medical attention and following through with your prescribed treatment plan.
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We Can Review Your Possible Camp Lejeune Contamination Claim During a Free Consultation
Getting appropriate legal help can help you understand the options you have available if you are considering filing a claim or a potential lawsuit down the line.
Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is ready to help you with your claim for benefits if the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune affected you. We want you to be able to get the medical and financial help you need during this difficult time. We will fight for you every step of the way. If you can sue later, we can help you manage your compensation case.
Get a free consultation with us today to get started.