Overview of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History

Between 1953 – 1987, military members, spouses, children and civilian DOD workers living and working at Camp Lejeune drank and bathed in water laced with known carcinogens such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), benzene, and vinyl chloride.

During the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled Camp Lejeune as major polluter and soon added the base to one of more than 150 military installations now listed on the EPA Superfund Site list.  Regulations were added by the military in 1984 outlining the proper technique required for disposal of hazardous waste, such as organic compounds, which could possibly infiltrate and contaminate drinking water. Reports show that as early as April 1980, leakage problems from buried fuel tanks could make water contamination a possibility.

Camp Lejeune Map

The military ignored all the warning signs and delayed their response to the need for testing to the mid ’80s.  Potentially 1 million+ individuals were affected, either through ingesting tap water contaminated by dangerous chemicals and carcinogens found in the water supply, or by absorbing these toxins through their skin or through their breathing thanks to soil vapor intrusion.

The result – a massive, generational health catastrophe.  Reports of rare male breast cancers, along with thousands of reports of cancers, leukemia, birth defects, and other rare illnesses continue to stream in.  Historical evidence, ongoing resaerch and recently released studies suggest these illnesses derive directly from ongoing contamination exposure at Camp Lejeune.

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Civilian Exposure

Civilian Exposure is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization/public charity working to Build Awareness, Accountability and Assistance for Civilians Exposed to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination and all citizens exposed to any toxic contamination aboard all U.S. military installations. The effort continues to inform civilian employees and others affected by contamination to receive both the guidance and the justice they deserve.

About the Founder
A 20-year veteran of media, marketing, non-profits and entrepreneurship, Gavin P. Smith leads Civilian Exposure, a non-profit assisting civilians and veterans exposed to U.S. military contamination; the Keta Foundation, a collaborative foundation dedicated to mitigating modern slavery through economic improvement projects in Africa; and Gavin Consulting, a network of virtual experts serving global clients; He is also a former member of the CDC/ATSDR Camp Lejeune Community Assistance Panel. Mr. Smith holds a Master of Global Management with distinction (Beta Gamma Sigma) from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MBA from The College of William & Mary Mason School of Business and a BA in History from Wake Forest University.

2 thoughts on “Overview of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History

  • August 11, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I am a Marine veteran that was stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1975 through 1977. The list of problems that I received from the VA lists Female infertility. Is there any connection to this exposure for Male infertility?

  • December 20, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    hi my dad was stationed there at camp lejeune my mom lived on base when she was pregnant with me and gave birth to me in 1969 while having me my mother doctor found that she had kidney cancer and took she kidneys out years later she died from her body rejecting a kidney transplant when i turned 18 i joined the military then got out but the VA doctors say my mental condition is partly to blame cuz of the bad water on camp lejuene but the military is telling me to show proff that we lived there I need help and the VA reps. dont have a clue about the bad water on camp lejeune so they are NO HELP so what do i do


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