Illnesses Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Illnesses Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

You have probably heard about Camp Lejeune in a television ad or from someone who was stationed there. During several decades, the people who lived and worked on Marine Base Camp Lejeune were exposed to toxic water. They drank, cooked in, and bathed in contaminated water that has now been linked to several serious medical conditions.

To keep you informed, the team at Lawsuit Legal News prepared this comprehensive summary of the many illnesses caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination. Hopefully, many of your questions will be answered below, but if you have any questions about the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, please contact our dedicated legal professionals directly.

Diseases Linked to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: A General Summary

Multiple Cancers

The residents of Camp Lejeune faced a spectrum of health challenges stemming from exposure to contaminated water. Notably, studies have established a concerning link between the toxic water and various types of cancer.

As a result of this contamination, individuals at the base, including Marines and their families, developed elevated risks of developing many different cancers. Other serious medical conditions have been linked to the toxic water as well.

Non-cancerous Diseases

Studies have unequivocally established a strong connection between Camp Lejeune's water contamination and various health concerns. In addition to the increased cancer risks, other severe health conditions have been linked to the tainted water at Camp Lejeune.

Notably, Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease (also known as ALS), with symptoms that severely impact daily life and require costly treatments, are also linked to this water exposure.

Other non-cancerous diseases include aplastic anemia, renal toxicity, fatty liver disease, and scleroderma. Women reported fertility issues and miscarriages, adding to the array of long-term concerns arising from exposure to the contaminated water.

Neurobehavioral Effects

Marines also reported neurobehavioral effects, such as balance and coordination difficulties, motor function impairment, and learning challenges. Individuals reported memory and concentration difficulties, although attributing these issues to chemical exposure was often complex because there were many potential causes.

Birth Abnormalities

Chemicals detected in the water, like TCE, raised the risk of birth complications among infants born at Camp Lejeune between 1968 and 1985. According to a study, 12,598 children were born between 1968 and 1985 at Camp Lejeune. Disturbingly, parents reported 106 cases of birth abnormalities and childhood cancers among those children. Low birth weight, small gestational age, and major malformations, including eye defects, were some other distressing outcomes potentially tied to water contamination.

Higher Rates of Miscarriage and Infertility

Elevated rates of infertility, miscarriages, and congenital disabilities in children were also reported. A portion of residents reported fertility problems, with 1,344 men experiencing infertility and 373 women facing reproductive organ damage.

Among women who could conceive, some endured the heartache of miscarriages, although it's crucial to note that multiple factors can contribute to such occurrences. Nevertheless, water contamination has been implicated in some cases.

Those who resided at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days during the mid-1950s through the mid-1980s and experienced fertility challenges or miscarriages may now seek legal recourse to receive the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Presumptive Conditions and Illnesses Caused by Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Victims of Camp Lejeune water contamination have the opportunity to seek damages for the illnesses or harm they have endured. The government has already presumptively linked certain conditions to water contamination at the military base, making it easier for affected individuals to establish a connection between their illnesses and the polluted water.

However, the government doesn’t automatically accept claims for these specific conditions. The affected person must still provide evidence of exposure during their stay.

The presumptive conditions recognized by the VA in relation to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include:

The VA's listing of these presumptive conditions is a positive development for those seeking compensation. A presumption essentially means that the government acknowledges the likelihood that these specific conditions were caused by the contaminants present in the water during the contamination period.

What Illnesses and Diseases Qualify for Compensation Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) of 2022?

The CLJA allows individuals who have become ill from exposure to Camp Lejeune water to file a lawsuit. The serious illnesses and diseases that are covered by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act include:

  • Bladder cancer.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Esophagus cancer.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Nervous system cancer.
  • Adult leukemia.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Cardiac congenital disabilities.
  • Hepatic steatosis.
  • Female infertility.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Parkinson's disease.
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes.
  • Neurological effects.
  • Renal toxicity.
  • Scleroderma.

A Summary of Some Illnesses Linked to Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water

Parkinson’s disease

A groundbreaking study conducted on the residents of Camp Lejeune uncovered a distressing connection between exposure to TCE and PCE—two chemicals present in the contaminated water—and the increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease when compared to the general population. The findings revealed that those exposed to TCE faced a six-fold higher likelihood of developing Parkinson's disease than the general population, while those exposed to PCE were at a ten-fold higher risk.

Regrettably, as of now, there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, and the progression of the disease within an individual often unfolds in an unpredictable manner. Over time, the symptoms of this progressive condition worsen and can disrupt relationships, compromise the ability to work, and cast uncertainty over future plans.

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a form of cancer that may arise from environmental exposures. However, exposure to TCE doesn't automatically guarantee the development of cancer. But, if you do develop cancer subsequent to chemical exposure, there is a strong likelihood that the exposure played a role in the onset of the illness.

Those who were diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after serving, residing, or working at Camp Lejeune may be eligible for compensation. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma predominantly affects the lymphatic system, and it often requires extensive treatment. Remission from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a possibility, but it comes at a high cost.

Esophageal cancer

Esophageal cancer can present a range of symptoms, including dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), unexplained weight loss, chest discomfort (such as burning or pressure), persistent coughing, hoarseness, as well as indigestion and heartburn that progressively worsens.


Scleroderma comprises a group of rare autoimmune disorders, and the precise origins are usually not known. However, individuals connected to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base have reported cases of scleroderma, believed to be linked to the water contamination at the base.

After extensive years of investigation, a significant connection between scleroderma and the water contaminants at Camp Lejeune has been established. It has been shown that prolonged exposure to substances such as trichloroethylene (TCE), and possibly tetrachloroethylene (PCE), can trigger the onset of scleroderma and related conditions.

Prostate Cancer

Investigating cancer from toxic substances

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that originates in the prostate, a small gland in males responsible for producing seminal fluid and supporting the nourishment and transport of sperm. While prostate cancer ranks among the most frequently diagnosed cancers, and its survival rates are generally favorable, it is not without its potential for lasting effects and distressing symptoms.

Common indications of prostate cancer encompass:

  • Urinary Issues: Prostate cancer may lead to difficulties with urination.
  • Reduced Urine Force: A decrease in the force of urine flow can also be a noticeable symptom.
  • Hematuria: The presence of blood in the semen or urine can be a concerning sign.
  • Bone Pain: Pain in the bones can sometimes be associated with advanced prostate cancer.
  • Unintended Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of prostate cancer.

Moreover, if prostate cancer is not promptly addressed, several complications may arise, including:

  • Loss of Bladder Control: Prostate cancer may lead to urinary incontinence.
  • Metastasis: In advanced cases, the cancer may spread to other parts of the body, necessitating more aggressive treatments.
  • Erectile Dysfunction: Prostate cancer treatments may sometimes result in erectile dysfunction, posing additional challenges for individuals undergoing therapy.

Breast Cancer

The uniqueness of male breast cancer makes any surge in cases glaringly evident. Remarkably, the federal government now unequivocally acknowledges a direct link between the contamination of the drinking water at Camp Lejeune and the diagnosis of breast cancer, regardless of gender.

Bladder Cancer

Tragically, those who were exposed to the toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Camp Lejeune water are now facing a spectrum of cancer diagnoses. Among the types of cancer is the rare occurrence of bladder cancer in both women and men.

Bladder cancer is a relatively prevalent form of cancer, impacting hundreds of thousands of Americans across the nation. However, it is also listed as a potential condition stemming from exposure to toxins, heavy metals, and prolonged contact with the hazardous substances at Camp Lejeune.

Bladder cancer typically starts with a handful of malignant cells that infiltrate the entire urinary system, including the ureter tubes and kidneys. When detected early, it is a condition that can be effectively treated. However, as it advances, it can metastasize to other organs, bones, and even the bloodstream.

The five-year survival rate for those battling advanced bladder cancer hovers around 38%, underscoring the importance of early diagnosis and intervention.

Aplastic Anemia

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, explains the grave risks associated with benzene exposure, particularly its potential to induce severe blood disorders like aplastic anemia. Consequently, the federal government acknowledges aplastic anemia as a presumptive medical consequence of water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

Individuals grappling with aplastic anemia may encounter a spectrum of distressing symptoms, including:

  • Pervasive and incapacitating fatigue
  • Frequent episodes of bleeding (manifesting as nosebleeds, bleeding gums), inexplicable and protracted infections, and excessive bruising
  • Uncontrolled bleeding from even minor cuts
  • Breathlessness
  • Irregular or accelerated heart rhythms
  • Unexplained bruise formation
  • Skin eruptions
  • Episodes of dizziness
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Elevated body temperature and unusual paleness

Due to their compromised white blood cell counts, individuals with aplastic anemia face a heightened vulnerability to infections, which can prove life-threatening. Stringent social distancing becomes an everyday necessity for these individuals including avoiding crowded public places and people displaying symptoms like the common cold.

Adult Leukemia

Leukemia, a form of cancer impacting white blood cells, is a condition that predominantly manifests in children. However, it's important to note that certain variants of leukemia can also be diagnosed in adults.

Common indicators of leukemia in adults encompass:

  • Overwhelming fatigue, weakness, and bouts of dizziness
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Unexplained and concerning weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Recurring fevers and night sweats
  • Prolonged susceptibility to infections
  • Discomfort or pain in bones and joints
  • The appearance of red, purple, or brown skin blotches
  • Uncontrolled bleeding tendencies
  • Swelling of lymph nodes

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer starts within the kidneys located behind the abdominal organs. Renal cell carcinoma is the most prevalent form of kidney cancer diagnosed in adults. In its early stages, kidney cancer may not typically exhibit any noticeable symptoms. However, as the cancer progresses, individuals may experience the following signs and indications:

  • Presence of blood in the urine
  • Persistent, unrelenting back pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Elevated body temperature or fever
  • Overwhelming fatigue

On the other hand, renal toxicity, also referred to as nephrotoxicity, stands out as one of the most prevalent kidney-related issues. This condition typically occurs when the body encounters hazardous toxins, leading to harm and impairment in the kidneys.

Liver Cancer

The liver, a vital organ roughly the size of a football, resides in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. When liver cancer emerges, it starts within the liver's own cells. While the early stages of liver cancer often progress without any noticeable symptoms or signs, once they do become apparent, they typically encompass:

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Unintended Weight Loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Upper Abdominal Pain
  • Fatigue
  • General Weakness
  • Abdominal Swelling
  • Jaundice (Yellowing of the Skin)
  • Pale or White, Chalky Stools

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer originating in plasma cells, a specialized type of white blood cell. In this condition, malignant cells amass and encroach upon healthy blood cells, producing abnormal proteins that can lead to a host of complications. As multiple myeloma progresses, the spectrum of symptoms can vary, with some of the more prevalent indications including:

  • Nausea
  • Bone pain
  • Cognitive fog
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Confusion
  • Profound fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Susceptibility to frequent infections
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Excessive thirst


Scleroderma encompasses a group of uncommon autoimmune disorders with unknown causes. Among people closely associated with the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base, cases of scleroderma have been documented and are believed to be linked to the contamination of the base's water supply.

A group of experts including epidemiologists, chemical specialists, and diverse scientific professionals has successfully established a compelling link between scleroderma and the presence of water contaminants at Camp Lejeune.

Can You Bring a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Claim?

Regrettably, the toxic water contamination at Camp Lejeune has been implicated in elevated rates of multiple cancers and other serious conditions. Residents and individuals who lived or worked at the base between 1953 and 1987 exhibit significantly higher incidences of this cancer compared to the general population.

Consequently, if you suspect that your medical condition is a result of exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, it is imperative to promptly seek the guidance of a dedicated Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer.

In this article, we’ve shared important information about many of the medical conditions and illnesses that have been linked to Camp Lejeune contaminated water. If you were exposed to Camp Lejeune water and are suffering any of these conditions, or if you lost a loved one who was exposed, you may be able to receive compensation for your losses.

Call our legal professionals at 866-467-0943 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation about your legal rights. The LLN team is here to help you.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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