What Caused Camp Lejeune Water Contamination? From 1953 to 1987, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, a major Marine Corps base in Jacksonville, North Carolina, was contaminated with dangerous chemicals that have the potential to cause certain types of cancer and other serious health conditions. What Chemicals Were Contaminating the Water Supply at Camp Lejeune? The four primary chemicals contaminating the water on the base were PCE (tetrachloroethylene, also referred to as perchloroethylene), TCE (trichloroethylene), vinyl chloride, and benzene, according to the\u00a0Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry\u00a0(ATSDR).\nAll four of the chemicals are colorless and invisible to the naked eye.\nPCE is commonly used as a dry-cleaning agent, though as the ATSDR notes, it has been used for metal degreasing as well.\nPCE can either rapidly evaporate from shallow soil, or it can slowly degrade in the soil over time and eventually contaminate groundwater.\nTCE is a solvent and is frequently used for cleaning metal parts.\nLike PCE, it is a volatile organic compound (VOC) that has a sweet odor and is nonflammable.\nOver time, TCE and PCE can break down in soil and form vinyl chloride, which can pollute groundwater.\nVinyl chloride is colorless and can dissolve in water.\nIn industrial settings, it has numerous uses, including making PVC pipes and manufacturing certain plastic products.\nBenzene has been used for a wide variety of purposes, including manufacturing resins, rubber lubricants, synthetic fibers, plastics, dyes, sunscreen, pesticides, and drugs.\nLike the other chemicals, it is colorless, has a sweet aroma, and can dissolve in water.\nThe\u00a0water contamination at Camp Lejeune\u00a0primarily occurred at two water treatment plants: Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point. The Tarawa Terrace Water Treatment Facility When tested in the early 1980s, wells at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant were found to be contaminated with PCE.\nThe source of contamination at the Tarawa Terrace facility was discovered to be a nearby, off-base dry-cleaning company known as ABC One-Hour Cleaners that failed to properly dispose of their hazardous waste.\nThe PCE levels at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment facility were found to significantly exceed the maximum limits for drinking water established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).\nBenzene was also discovered at the Tarawa Terrace facility in the mid-1980s, though it was detected at lower levels than the maximum amount allowed.\nThe most contaminated wells at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant were retired in February 1985. The Hadnot Point Water Treatment Facility TCE was the primary chemical compound discovered at the Hadnot Point water treatment plant.\nThe maximum amount of TCE permitted in drinking water is currently .5 \u03bcg/L (micrograms per liter).\nThe levels of TCE detected at the Hadnot Point treatment plant reached as high as 1,400 \u03bcg/L.\nOther chemicals were also discovered in wells at the Hadnot Point facility.\nThey included DCE (dichloroethylene), PCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene.\nThe wells with the most significant levels of contamination were shut down at the same time as the wells at the Tarawa Terrace water treatment facility in February 1985.\nThere were multiple sources of possible contamination at the Hadnot Point treatment plant.\nThe sources included industrial spills, leaks from underground fuel storage tanks, and waste disposal sites. Health Issues Caused by Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune Numerous severe side effects have been recorded in veterans and others who were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.\nFrequent and prolonged exposure to chemicals such as PCE and TCE may lead to conditions such as: Breast cancer\nLiver cancer\nKidney cancer\nLung cancer\nOvarian cancer\nBladder cancer\nCervical cancer\nProstate cancer\nEsophageal cancer\nMultiple myeloma\nLeukemia\nNon-Hodgkin\u2019s lymphoma\nLiver disease\nParkinson\u2019s disease\nMiscarriages\nBirth defects\nDecreased fertility\nHepatic steatosis\nRenal toxicity\nNeurobehavioral issues\nScleroderma Individuals who were diagnosed with cancer or another severe health condition after serving, living, or working at Camp Lejeune for a period of at least 30 days could soon be entitled to pursue compensation for damages they suffered through a federal claim. Camp Lejeune Lawsuits Hundreds of thousands of veterans, family members, and civilian employees at Camp Lejeune were regularly exposed to contaminated water from 1953 to 1987.\nWhile veterans and family members with covered conditions have been able to seek healthcare benefits through Veterans Affairs thanks to 2012\u2019s Janey Ensminger Act, they are currently time-barred from pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault parties.\nThe\u00a0Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, which is currently making its way through Congress, aims to remove the legal barrier preventing victims from taking legal action.\nNorth Carolina currently has a 10-year statute of repose on lawsuits against polluters.\nUnlike the statute of limitations, the statute of repose starts when the defendant first engages in negligent activity.\nThe statute of repose passed decades ago before anyone knew that the water was contaminated.\nThis new bill would allow anyone who lived at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, to\u00a0file a lawsuit\u00a0if they suffered certain severe health problems because of the contaminated water.\nIf you were exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune during the specified time frame, find out how\u00a0TruLaw\u00a0can help.\nVisit our\u00a0Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Lawsuit\u00a0page and get an\u00a0instant case assessment.