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Camp Lejuene Water Contamination

From the 1950s through the 1980s, people living or working at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, were potentially exposed to drinking water contaminated with industrial solvents, benzene, and other chemicals.

Camp Lejuene Health Care

As a part of the Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012, qualifying veterans can receive all their health care (except dental care) from the VA if they served on active duty at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987, even if they don’t have a health condition that is presumed to be related to exposure. For individuals with one of the 15 medical conditions presumed to be related to exposure, there is no charge for care. For other health conditions, veterans will have a co-pay, depending on their income and health eligibility priority category.

Healthcare qualifying conditions include:

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Female infertility
  • Scleroderma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Lung cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

Not all of these conditions are considered presumptive for disability compensation.

Presumptive Conditions for Compensation

VA has established a presumptive service connection for veterans, reservists, and National Guard members exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 who later developed one of the following eight diseases:

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

Camp Lejeune Research Studies

Drinking water systems that supplied two areas of housing at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with industrial chemicals from at least 1953 to 1985. The contaminated wells were shut down in February 1985.

The exact duration and intensity of the exposure at Camp Lejeune are unknown. The geographic extent of contamination by specific chemicals also is unknown.

Health effects from toxic water exposure

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has developed models to try to characterize the geographic extent and intensity of the contamination.

Recently published studies by ATSDR have provided additional scientific information to help evaluate possible service-connection for health effects and to make policy changes.

Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune, provides a summary of what was known about the historical Camp Lejeune water contamination up to the year 2009.

Health concerns?

If you have health concerns about exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to help you get more information.

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