Camp Lejeune is a United States Marine Corps base camp located in North Carolina. From 1953 to 1987, the base was contaminated with various chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride. These chemicals have been linked to a variety of neurobehavioral impairments, including different types of cancer diseases, immune system dysfunction, and neurological damage.
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In this article, we will discuss the potential neurobehavioral effects of exposure to the chemicals at Camp Lejeune Military Base. The exposure estimates of these chemicals are based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National-Scale Exposure Scenarios for TCE, Benzene, PCE, and even exposure to Vinyl Chloride.
Aside from environmental health concerns, this content will also provide information on the ongoing research and additional studies into this matter and the health care benefits of those who have been affected by the current disease.
What are the specific neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune’s drinking water exposures?
There is still much unknown about the long-term exposure and the neurobehavioral effects of Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure. Epidemiologic studies have shown an increased risk for certain neurobehavioral disorders that indicate deficits in attention (ADHD) in individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
However, other suggestive evidence has not found any association between Camp Lejeune military base water supply contamination and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or other neurobehavioral deficits.
According to different human studies, exposure to the chemicals at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp can occur through a variety of means, including drinking contaminated water, coming into contact with contaminated soil or sediment, or using cleaning products that contain the chemicals.
Prenatal and childhood exposures are of particular concern, as these periods of development are critical for the proper formation and function of the brain and nervous system. However, prenatal exposure is not the only exposure of concern.
Exposure during gestation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence can result in long-term neurobehavioral effects. These effects may have a slow onset and may not be noticeable for years after the initial exposure. The exact nature and severity of the effects will depend on several factors, including the individual’s age at the time of exposure and the duration and level of chemical exposure to which they were exposed.
On the other hand, cumulative exposure, or exposure to multiple toxic chemicals, is of particular concern because it can result in cumulative effects that are greater than the sum of the individual effects.
Same with postnatal exposure, the effects of the exposure may not be immediately apparent but may become more evident as the individual grows older. Nevertheless, sufficient evidence shows that adult exposures to neurotoxicants can lead to cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, and even dementia.
Is dementia a neurobehavioral effect of Camp Lejeune water contamination?
Medical evidence shows that the Camp Lejeune water contamination and dementia are related. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) found that veterans exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment.
This is because the VA study found that the veterans’ brains were smaller than those of other veterans. Study populations included both male and female veterans who had been exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
What are the symptoms of neurobehavioral effects?
The symptoms of neurobehavioral damage vary depending on the type of damage caused by the toxic chemicals. For example, some people who are exposed to neurotoxins develop memory loss, while others experience poor concentration skills.
Other health conditions associated with Camp Lejeune water contamination:
Cancer: Several studies have found an increased risk of various types of cancer among individuals exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These cancers include breast cancer, leukemia, and liver cancer.
Kidney cancer: A recent study found an increased risk of kidney cancer among women who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Renal toxicity is a known effect of exposure to Trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene (PCE)-contaminated drinking water, and these chemicals are thought to be the primary contaminants responsible for the increased risk of cancer.
Bladder cancer: A recent study found an increased risk of bladder cancer among men who had toxic exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
Lymphoma: A recent study found an increased risk of lymphoma among individuals exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Aplastic anemia: A recent study found an increased risk of aplastic anemia, a blood disorder, among individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma Parkinson’s disease: A recent study found an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological effects among individuals exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Sensory disturbances, including tingling, numbness in the extremities, involuntary movements, and lack of coordination, are also common among those affected.
Lung cancer: Acute inhalation and oral exposure to PCE can cause lung damage. Chronic exposure to low levels of PCE has been linked to an increase in the incidence of lung cancer. In fact, prenatal exposure to tetrachloroethylene-contaminated water has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects, spina bifida, oral clefts, and congenital anomalies.
Prostate Cancer: An earlier study found an association between prostate cancer and exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. However, this finding was not confirmed by another study.
Childhood Cancers: Studies have shown that children born to mothers who drank contaminated water while pregnant have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer later in life. For example, a recent study showed that children whose mothers drank contaminated water while pregnant had an increased risk of developing brain tumors.
Esophageal cancer: The study suggested that the link between Camp Lejeune water pollution and esophageal cancer might be due to the presence of trichloroethylene in the drinking water.
Behavioral Disorders: Exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune may lead to behavioral disorders. One study found that children with developmental disabilities were more likely than others to live near the contaminated water source. Another study found that children living near the contaminated water source were more likely to exhibit hyperactivity, aggression, and sleep problems.
Female infertility: Women who lived or worked on the base during their pregnancy were more likely to give birth to babies with birth defects. These birth defects included heart malformations, limb deformities, and neural tube defects.
Neuropsychological Disorders: Children who lived or worked on Camp Lejeune during their childhood were more likely to develop neuropsychological disorders, such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), learning disability, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and autism.
Neurologic Diseases: Scientific evidence shows that individuals who lived or worked on base during their childhood were more prone to neurologic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and Parkinson’s disease.
Adverse Effects and other Health Problems: People who lived or worked in camp Lejeune during their childhood have an increased risk for a number of health problems, including asthma, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, skin conditions, cardiovascular disease, and gastrointestinal problems.
The Case-Control Study On the Relationship Between Exposure and Duration of Exposure
To determine whether there is a correlation between exposure and duration of time spent on the base, researchers conducted a case-control study. They compared the data from two groups of people. Those who had lived or worked on the Base throughout their lives and those who had only been exposed to the contaminated water after 1970.
Results showed that the association between exposure and duration of exposure was significant. Individuals who lived or worked on site prior to 1970 were less likely to experience certain types of cancer, neurological diseases, and adverse health effects. This suggests that if you spend a long period of time away from the contaminated area, you will be less likely to suffer from these illnesses.
They found out that the association between exposure and duration of exposure was significant. People who lived or worked on Base before 1970 were less likely to develop cancers, neurological diseases, and other adverse effects. This suggests that the longer you stay away from the polluted area, the better your chances are of avoiding these illnesses.
The age at exposure also affected how much of a risk you would face. If you were younger when you first arrived on base, you were more likely to develop certain illnesses later in life.
The Occupational Exposures of Dangerous Chemicals and Statistical Significance
Working with or around hazardous materials can put you at risk for exposure to a number of dangerous chemicals. Long-term occupational exposure to these chemicals has been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and other serious health conditions. If you work with or around hazardous materials, it is important to be aware of the risks and take precautions to protect yourself.
Statistics also show that working with or around hazardous materials increases your chance of developing certain illnesses. The percentage of people who developed various illnesses while working with or around hazardous chemicals are the following and their corresponding illness percentage:
- Cancer 1%
- Reproductive Illnesses 3%
- Neurological Illnesses 4%
- Respiratory Illnesses 5%
- Skin Conditions 7%
- Other Illnesses 10%
Health Care Law
In addition to the environmental hazards that exist at Camp Lejeune, many veterans claim they suffered from medical malpractice while receiving treatment at the Marine Corps Hospital. The Veterans Administration has set up a special program called the Gulf War Illness Compensation Program (GWI) which provides compensation to veterans who believe they were injured by Agent Orange or other toxic substances used during the war.
The individual claims must be filed within one year of the date of discharge from active duty. To cover medical expenses and health care provisions, veterans must file a legal claim with the VA within two years of the date of discharge. Covered health conditions include skin disorders, respiratory ailments, nervous system damage, and gastrointestinal issues.
Camp Lejeune is one of the most contaminated sites in America. It is estimated that over 100 million gallons of oil leak into the ocean every day. Many residents say that the contamination still exists today. Despite this fact, the federal government continues to deny any wrongdoing.
Although some studies suggest that civilian exposure and those who are living near the base may increase your risk of getting sick, others indicate that the opposite is true.
You should not wait until you are sick to seek legal counsel. If you need information or you think you might need to file a claim, speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Some veterans who had military service in the area of Camp Lejeune may be eligible for benefits and health care reimbursements. To find out if you qualify, contact our attorneys at www.marinbarrettlaw.com.