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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Deaths*

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Camp Lejeune
From the 1950s through the 1980s, drinking water at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps bases in North Carolina was heavily contaminated. The Department of Defense, along with other federal government branches, conducted extensive testing and many scientific studies to assess the impact of the contaminated drinking water. The DOD and other government investigators assessed the long-term health of residents and employees who lived and/or worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base in those years.

These studies show that those who had been exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated waters may be at greater risk for certain types of Cancer. The contaminated water at Camp Lejeune has been linked to kidney cancer, prostate cancer, and esophagus tumors. Evidence and studies link these cancers with Camp Lejeune. They represent some of the evidence that may be used by attorneys expected to file  Camp Lejeune-related cancer lawsuits.

Summary of Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination

Between 1953-87, Camp Lejeune was home to a U.S. Marine Corps Base that provided drinking water heavily contaminated by industrial chemicals. Particularly during this period, Camp Lejeune’s water supply contained high levels of perchloroethylene or trichloroethylene. The PCE, TCE levels in Lejeune’s water were thousands of times higher than the EPA’s maximum safe limits. Later it was discovered that Camp Lejeune water had also been contaminated with benzene.

More than 1 million people worked and lived on Camp Lejeune’s base during the 34-year period of contamination. They include ex-marines and their families who lived on the base in temporary and long-term housing. In addition, civilian employees also worked at Lejeune.

All the chemicals found in Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water (TCE/PCE and benzene), have been shown to be toxic for both animals and humans. They are also suspected to be carcinogens and have been linked with higher rates of cancer in animal testing.

ATSDR Study on Health Effects from Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal health agency, is part of the CDC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The ATSDR often functions as an investigation branch of the CDC or HHS, conducting research about emerging threats to health and the environment.

After the long-standing water contamination problem at Camp Lejeune, the federal government came under pressure from veterans and other advocacy groups. The ATSDR was tasked to investigate and test the possible health consequences of Lejeune’s water contamination.

Over the last two decades, ATSDR completed several major retrospective studies in order to determine the impact of Camp Lejeune’s contaminated waters. ATSDR conducted two mortality studies for military personnel at Camp Lejeune, and a Cancer Incidence Study.

Mortality studies assessed whether increased death rates from certain cancers or other diseases could be linked to Camp Lejeune’s drinking water. The study examined the medical records of more than 4,600 civilian employees and 150,000 military personnel who resided or worked at Camp Lejeune during the years of contamination.

The Camp Lejeune ATSDR Studies on Contaminated Water

The ATSDR mortality study into the health effect of contaminated drinking waters at Lejeune looked at death records of almost 200,000 former employees, Marine personnel, and others who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune in the time period of contamination. Researchers collected data from these records to identify the cause(s) of death.

The study also examined similar cause-of-death data for a control group consisting of approximately the same number individuals who lived or worked in Camp Pendleton, which is a military base located in California. Camp Pendleton was selected for the control group, because its residents were almost identical to Camp Lejeune. Additionally, Camp Pendleton’s drinking water supply was uncontaminated for the time that Camp Lejeune’s drinking water was contaminated.

In 2014, the journal Environmental Health published the findings of the Agency for Toxic Substances study on the mortality impact of Camp Lejeune’s contamination. The study showed that those who had been exposed to Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water had higher rates of dying from several types of cancers:

  • Kidney Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Leukemia


  • Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorneys
  • Camp Lejeune Water Facilities were Contaminated
  • U.S. Senate passes Camp Lejeune Justice Act
  • Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement may be possible

*The contents of this web page have been prepared by Matthews and Associates Law Firm located in Houston, Texas. David P. Matthews is the attorney responsible for its content. This article is considered “attorney advertising.” The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement. Sending or receiving information through this site, posting to our blogs/news site does not establish an attorney/client relationship. An attorney/client relationship with Matthews and Associates is established only by an express and written agreement by Matthews and Associates to represent you. In some circumstances, cases may be sent to other qualified lawyers. In those circumstances, Matthews and Associates maintains joint responsibility. Matthews and Associates does not offer any guarantee of case results. Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future lawsuits.


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