Has a loved one experienced a birth defect due to in utero exposure to hazardous chemicals in Camp Lejeune's contaminated water? The compassionate and dedicated attorneys at the Marin and Barrett Law Firm are here to help you seek justice. Call (888) 348-2735 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation and Camp Lejeune claim evaluation.
Has a loved one experienced a birth defect due to in utero exposure to hazardous chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water? The compassionate and dedicated attorneys at the Marin and Barrett Law Firm are here to help you seek justice. Call (888) 348-2735 for a free, no-obligation legal consultation and Camp Lejeune claim evaluation.
Children born with birth defects after more than 30 days of in utero exposure to toxic water contamination at North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 are eligible to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit under the newly enacted Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022. Contact the Camp Lejeune birth defect lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc. at (888) 348-2735 today for a free, no obligation initial birth defect claim consultation.
DID IN UTERO EXPOSURE TO WATER CONTAMINATION AT CAMP LEJEUNE CAUSE BIRTH DEFECTS?
While there are many different causes of birth defects, scientific evidence and studies have shown a strong link between maternal in utero exposure to the toxic chemicals in the contaminated water at North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and the following birth defects:
- Cardiac Birth Defects;
- Neural Tube Defects including anencephaly and spina bifida;
- Oral cleft defects including cleft palate and cleft lip (with or without cleft palate);
- Childhood hematopoietic cancers including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The effects of in utero exposure to toxic chemicals and industrial solvents in the water supply depend on when you are exposed (what trimester the exposure occurred), how much you are exposed to (maternal water usage), how long you are exposed, how you are exposed (breathing, drinking), and to what chemicals you are exposed (TCE, PCE vinyl chloride, or Benzene).
Not everyone who is exposed in utero to hazardous chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, or vinyl chloride will develop a birth defect or childhood hematopoietic cancer. But, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) there is sufficient evidence to establish that in utero exposure TCE, PCE, benzene, or vinyl chloride at Camp Lejeune causes an increased risk of birth defects, childhood cancer, and adverse birth outcomes.
In 2013, Environ Health published an article titled an “Evaluation of exposure to contaminated drinking water and specific birth defects and childhood cancers at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina: a case–control study” which detailed the medical evidence linking birth defects and Camp Lejeune. The study was designed to determine if the children of military families born during 1968–1985 to mothers with residential exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune during pregnancy were more likely to have childhood hematopoietic cancers, neural tube defects, or oral clefts. The study revealed a link between 1st trimester in utero exposure to TCE and Benzene and neural tube birth defects. It also revealed an association between 1st trimester exposure to PCE, vinyl chloride, DCE and childhood hematopoietic cancers including leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The authors of the study suggested that additional studies may be warranted to further assess the relationship between in utero exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and birth defects at Camp Lejeune.
The V.A. acknowledged the like between Camp Lejeune and birth defects when the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry published their 2017 report titled the “ATSDR Assessment of the Evidence for the Drinking Water Contaminants at Camp Lejeune and Specific Cancers and Other Diseases.” The report concluded that it is possible that very short durations of exposure to the mother may be sufficient if the exposure occurs during the relevant vulnerability period for cardiac defects which is 3-9 months gestation. Additionally, they concluded that in-utero exposures have been associated with birth injury as well as increased risk of childhood leukemia and risk of childhood cancers.
In addition to Camp Lejeune and birth defects, there are fifteen covered conditions for which the V.A. determined a presumptive service connection after they found sufficient evidence to show an association between exposure to Marine Corps Camp Lejeune’s tainted water and medical condition. The presumptive conditions are:
The scientific studies, in addition to showing a high incidence of neural tube birth defects, also provide strong evidence tying the military base water contamination to other illnesses and serious health conditions including liver cancer, liver disease, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer.
WHAT ARE BIRTH DEFECTS?
Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. Depending on the severity of the defect and what body part is affected, the expected lifespan of a person with a birth defect may or may not be affected.
There are many types of birth defects, including:
- heart problems such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome, transposition of the great arteries, and tetralogy of Fallot;
- spina bifida;
- orofacial cleft;
- Down syndrome;
- congenital dislocated hip;
- Tay-Sachs disease;
- phenylketonuria (PKU), which affects the way the body processes protein;
- fetal alcohol syndrome.
What are Congenital Birth Defects?
Congenital means present at birth. Congenital heart defects are heart conditions that a baby is born with. These conditions can affect the heart’s shape or how it works or both. CHDs can be mild or serious. CHDs are the most common types of birth defects. Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part of the body. They may affect how the body looks, works or both. Birth defects can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops or how the body works.
Critical congenital heart defects are the most serious congenital heart defects. Babies with critical CHDs need surgery or other treatment within the first year of life. Without treatment, critical CHDs can cause serious health problems and death.