Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

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Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Did you or someone you know serve at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina? If so, you may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals found in the drinking water at these US military bases. According to results from several scientific studies, the chemicals found at these two military stations may have caused certain medical conditions.

In this article, we'll discuss everything you need to know about the health risks these two military bases posed to our brave servicemen and women (and potentially their families).

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  • What Medical Conditions Are Associated With Veterans Who Served at Camp Lejeune?

    Veterans who served at Camp Lejeune, including their families, for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1950 through December 1987 might have contracted the following medical conditions from using the water at the base.

    Bladder Cancer

    This type of cancer usually attacks older adults (which makes sense because most of the affected individuals are veterans of the US army). The good news is that this kind of cancer is treatable through surgery, chemotherapy, and biological therapy. Some of the most common symptoms of bladder cancer include the presence of blood in urine and pain during urination.

    Hepatic Steatosis

    Also known as fatty liver disease, this condition occurs due to the buildup of fat in the liver. It's even more prevalent among individuals with diabetes. Unfortunately, there's no cure for this condition, but can be managed through regular treatment. The worst thing about it is that it has no symptoms, making it even more difficult to diagnose.

    Kidney Cancer

    As the name suggests, kidney cancer refers to the type of cancer that starts developing in the kidneys. Some of the possible symptoms of kidney cancer include hematuria (presence of blood in the urine), lower back pain, constant fatigue, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, and unexplained fever.

    Leukemia

    Leukemia is a type of cancer that prevents the body from fighting infections. Some of the most common symptoms of leukemia include pain in the bones and joints, constant fatigue, dizziness, and fever. Individuals with leukemia might also develop mouth ulcers, skin lesions, and swollen lymph nodes.

    Miscarriages

    A miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of pregnancy, usually before the 20th week. If you served at Camp Lejeune and constantly experienced miscarriages after that, this could be a result of the chemicals found in the water there.

    Lung Cancers

    This type of cancer begins in the lungs and spreads to other parts of the body. Although lung cancer is usually associated with smokers, many veterans who served at Camp Lejeune have been diagnosed with this type of cancer.

    As a result, all fingers point at the chemicals that were discovered in the water at the base. Some of the most common symptoms of lung cancer include pain in the chest and ribcage, constant cough, frequent respiratory infections, wheezing, shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and rapid weight loss.

    The exact treatment for that particular type of lung cancer will depend on its stage. Usually, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy are the most common types of treatment for lung cancer.

    Renal Toxicity

    Also known as nephrotoxicity, this medical condition occurs mostly when your body is exposed to a harmful chemical that causes kidney damage. The symptoms of renal toxicity include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, shortness of breath, decreased urinary output, etc.

    Scleroderma

    Have you noticed your skin suddenly turning tighter each passing day? If so, you might be tempted to think it's just a normal aging process. Although this could be true, there's also a possibility that you may be suffering from scleroderma, a rare condition that mostly affects women. And if you served at Camp Lejeune, this condition could derive from the chemicals you were exposed to at the site.

    Individuals who suffer from scleroderma experience symptoms such as constant joint pain, sensitivity to cold, and regular heartburn.

  • What Studies Have Shown About Veterans Who Served at Camp Lejeune?

    Multiple studies have shown that veterans who served at Camp Lejeune were exposed to dangerous chemicals found in the water at the camp. Here's an overview of some popular studies on this matter and their findings.

    The University of Pittsburgh Studies

    Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh discovered that individuals who served at the camp experienced common problems such as social alienation, anxiety, poor concentration, and memory loss. The studies also discovered that some school-aged children exhibited some of these characteristics due to exposure to harmful chemicals.

    National Center for Biotechnology Information

    A study conducted by the NCBI also confirmed that individuals who served at the camp in question also experienced a lapse in concentration. This phenomenon was linked to the chemical trichloroethylene, also known as TCE.

    We'll discuss the chemicals found at Camp Lejeune waters shortly.

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission Study

    Another study conducted by the NRC discovered that individuals who served or lived at Camp Lejeune also exhibited certain neurobehavioral effects, such as Parkinson's. Like other studies conducted to shed more light on the plight of veterans who served at this camp, the NRC investigation also confirmed that these neurobehavioral conditions occurred due to exposure to contaminated water at the camp.

  • What Chemicals Were Found in the Water at Camp Lejeune?

    According to a report from the VA, two water wells found at the camp contained the following chemicals:

    Trichloroethylene

    Also known as TCE, this chemical is widely linked with kidney cancer in humans. It may also cause liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Perchloroethylene

    PCE, as it is commonly referred to, causes various respiratory problems. It can also cause damage to the liver.

    Benzene

    Exposure to high levels of Benzene can cause symptoms such as confusion, tremors, constant unexplained headaches, drowsiness, and irregular heartbeat. If left untreated for an extended period, Benzene can lead to death.

    Vinyl Chloride

    Do you suffer from constant irritation in your eyes or mucous membranes? If so, these are some of the most common symptoms of exposure to vinyl chloride, one of the chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune. Other common symptoms include dizziness, intoxication, constant fatigue, and ataxia. Extreme cases of exposure to vinyl chloride can lead to a coma and death.

  • Who Is Eligible for Disability Benefits Due to Exposure to Chemicals at Camp Lejeune?

    The VA has a list of eligibility requirements every applicant must meet in order to qualify for benefits. Here's an overview.

    You may be eligible for benefits if both of these are true:

    • You served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for no less than 30 cumulative days from August 1953 to December 1987
    • You were not dishonorably discharged when you separated from the US military

    But that's not all. If you meet the eligibility requirements above, you must also have been diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions:

    • Parkinson's disease
    • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
    • Multiple myeloma
    • Kidney cancer
    • Liver cancer
    • Bladder cancer
    • Adult leukemia
    • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic conditions

    As discussed earlier, all these medical conditions derive from exposure to the toxic chemicals found in the water at the camp. Lastly, in order to be eligible for benefits, you must be a veteran, army reservist, or guardsman.

  • What Benefits Am I Eligible for Due to Exposure to Chemicals at Camp Lejeune?

    According to the VA, you may be able to receive medical care and other financial benefits if you were exposed to chemicals at the camp. However, the exact scope of benefits you may be eligible for depends on the nature of your case. An experienced disability benefits attorney can help review your case and provide you with a better understanding of what you may be able to recover.

  • Are Family Members of Veterans Who Served at Camp Lejeune Eligible for Benefits?

    Certain family members of veterans who served at Camp Lejeune might be eligible for benefits. However, according to the VA, eligible family members must:

    Provide proof of their relationship with the veteran who served on active duty at the camp for at least 30 days. Examples of documents that could be used to verify this relationship include a marriage license, birth certificate, adoption papers, etc).

    Provide proof of residency at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River for at least 30 days from August 1952 to December 1987. To prove that you lived at either of these two camps around that time, you may be required to provide documents such as utility bills, base housing records, tax forms, or military orders.

    Provide proof of medical records that show you were diagnosed with one of the medical conditions listed above. This should include the date the medical condition was diagnosed.

    But that's not all; you must also prove that you're being treated or have already been treated in the past for that particular medical condition.

    Even after meeting the eligibility requirements described above, more needs to be done. In addition to the requirements above, you'll need to prove that you paid health care expenses for the condition you claim to be suffering from or have suffered from during the following periods: between January 1, 1957, and December 31, 1987, or between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1956.

  • How to File a Claim for Exposure to Chemicals at Camp Lejeune?

    If you meet the eligibility requirements discussed above, you may be able to file a disability benefits claim with the VA. To do this, you'll need to fill out the correct application form available on the VA's website and then mail or fax it to the government agency.

  • Do I Need an Attorney to File a Claim for Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

    Although you may be able to file a claim without an attorney, doing so isn't usually the best way to approach such a case. By now, you probably understand how difficult it is to qualify for benefits, let alone file a claim.

    For this reason, you need a seasoned disability benefits attorney to fight for you. Statistics show that most initial claims submitted to the VA are usually denied. The last thing you want is to spend one more day without the care you need and deserve following your exposure to harmful chemicals at Camp Lejeune.

    One thing most people agree about these eligibility requirements is that they seem to make it even more difficult for veterans, people who served our country selflessly, to obtain the benefits they need to live a normal life. That's heartbreaking, given that our veterans put their lives on the line, and denied themselves the comfort and thrills of life to fight for our freedoms.

    The good news is that you don't need to fight this battle alone, whether you are a veteran or a family member of such a hero. At Morgan and Morgan, our disability benefits attorney might be able to fight for you because we care.

    Since 1988, Morgan and Morgan's attorneys have been fighting for the rights of people who've been harmed due to exposure to dangerous chemicals. We understand how life-changing such an experience can be. More importantly, we understand how frustrating it is to find help for something that seems so obvious.

    The saddest truth is that the VA might deny your application based on technical reasons, even if you've been treated for all the diseases listed above. That's why you need someone who cares to fight for you. In fact, at Morgan and Morgan, some of our attorneys are veterans of the US army. They know and understand the kind of challenges our veterans face in securing disability benefits.

    For this reason, our disability benefits attorneys have dedicated their lives and careers to fighting for you, just like you or your beloved fought for us. If you served at Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station New River, you might be eligible for benefits if you've experienced any of the medical conditions described above.

    You fought for us, and now it's our turn to return the favor. Tell us about your case by filling out our free case evaluation form. We might be able to help.

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