Women who suffered a miscarriage 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 miscarriage lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc. at (888) 348-2735 today for a free, no obligation initial consultation.
HAS IN UTERO EXPOSURE TO WATER CONTAMINATION AT CAMP LEJEUNE BEEN LINKED TO MISCARRIAGES?
Researchers have known for decades that maternal exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water are linked to a woman’s risk for miscarriage. The effects of in utero exposure to toxic chemicals 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 all expectant mothers who are exposed to contaminated water containing trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, or vinyl chloride will miscarry. But, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ASTDR) there is sufficient evidence to establish that in utero exposure TCE, PCE, or benzene at Camp Lejeune causes miscarriages.
A scientific study in 2006 found evidence that occupational exposures to harmful chemicals could increase the risk of miscarriage. Common occupational chemicals include heavy metals, organic solvents, tetrachloroethylene, lycol ethers, 2-Bromopropane, petrochemicals, ethylene oxide, anesthetic gases, antineoplastic drugs. Moreover, researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have found that maternal exposure to synthetic chemicals widely used in food packaging and commonly found in drinking water supplies is associated with a woman’s risk for miscarriage in the second trimester.
In a 1989, another scientific study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health titled “Spontaneous Abortions and Congenital Malformations among Women Exposed to Tetrachloroethylene in Dry Cleaning” was designed to study whether exposure to tetrachloroethylene during the first trimester of pregnancy has harmful effects on pregnancy outcome. The study concluded that exposure to tetrachloroethylene was found to be significantly associated with spontaneous abortions.
Later in a 1998 study published by Occup Environ Medicine titled “Association of petrochemical exposure with spontaneous abortion“, researchers studied the the association between petrochemical exposure and spontaneous abortion. Their study revealed an increased risk of spontaneous abortion was found associated with the exposure to petrochemicals, including benzene, gasoline, and hydrogen sulphide.
In addition to Camp Lejeune and miscarriages, there are fifteen presumptive conditions for which the V.A. determined a presumptive service connection after they found medical evidence showing an association between exposure to Marine Corps Camp Lejeune’s tainted water and the health conditions. The V.A. determination of a presumptive service connection entitled those suffering with these conditions to disability benefits. They are:
The scientific studies, in addition to showing a high incidence of miscarriages at Camp Lejeune, also provide strong evidence tying the contaminated water to other illnesses including liver cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. Also, babies who were exposed to hazardous chemicals in utero may also suffer from health issues such as birth defects and cardiac defects.
WHAT IS A MISCARRIAGE?
A miscarriage is the unexpected ending of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks of gestation. Just because it’s called a “miscarriage” doesn’t mean you did something wrong in carrying the pregnancy. Most miscarriages are beyond your control and occur because the fetus stops growing. Chromosomal abnormalities cause about 50% of all miscarriages in the first trimester (up to 13 weeks) of pregnancy. Chromosomes are tiny structures inside the cells of your body that carry your genes.
Several factors may cause miscarriage:
- Exposure to TORCH diseases.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Improper implantation of fertilized egg in your uterine lining.
- How old you are.
- Uterine abnormalities.
- Incompetent cervix (your cervix begins to open too early in pregnancy).
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol or using recreational drugs.
- Disorders of the immune system like lupus.
- Severe kidney disease.
- Congenital heart disease.
- Diabetes that is not controlled.
- Thyroid disease.
- Certain medicines, such as the acne drug isotretinoin (Accutane).
- Severe malnutrition