Reported Health Effects Linked to TCE, PCE, Benzene and Vinyl Chloride

In addition to the conditions listed in the 2012 Camp Lejeune law regarding contamination and healthcare, ATSDR studies also reveal these observed health effects due to contamination.  If you believe you have any of these, don’t hesitate to research further and file a claim for VA healthcare assistance.

It is better to speak up than to stay silent.

Reported health problems in children who were exposed in the womb from their mother drinking water contaminated with TCE and/or PCE include—

  • Leukemia
  • Small for gestational age
  • Low birth weight
  • Fetal death
  • Major heart defects
  • Neural tube defects
  • Oral cleft defects (including cleft lip)
  • Chonal atresia (nasal passages blocked with bone or tissue)
  • Eye defects

Reported health problems in children who were exposed in the womb from their mother working with TCE and/or PCE include—

  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Major malformations

Reported health problems in people of all ages from drinking water contaminated with TCE and/or PCE include—

  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Rectal cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Neurobehavioral performance deficits (i.e., delayed recall and deficits in visual perception), decreased blink reflex, and mood effects (i.e., confusion, depression and tension)

Reported health problems in people of all ages from working with TCE and/or PCE include—

  • Hodgkins disease
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Cervical cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Impaired immune system function
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver/biliary cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Neurological effects (delayed reaction times problems with short-term memory, visual perception, attention, and color vision)
  • Severe, generalized hypersensitivity skin disorder (an autoimmune-related disease)
  • Scleroderma

Reported health problems in people of all ages from working with benzene include—

  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Leukemias
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Miscarriage

Reported health problems in people of all ages from working with VC include—

  • Liver cancer
  • Soft tissue sarcoma
  • Brain cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Liver cirrhosis

Workers are exposed to much higher levels of TCE, PCE, benzene, and VC than are people who drink contaminated water.  Therefore, the health problems seen in people who worked with TCE, PCE, benzene, and VC may not be seen in people who drank contaminated water.

For health problems not listed in the tables—

  • Studies, so far, do not support a link with the particular health outcome and TCE, PCE, benzene, or VC exposure, or
  • There is not enough information to see if the outcome is linked to TCE, PCE, benzene, or VC exposure.

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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.

15 thoughts on “Reported Health Effects Linked to TCE, PCE, Benzene and Vinyl Chloride

  • August 29, 2015 at 3:47 am

    I believe I have queried you previously. I was a victim (military dependent) of that poisoning. I have suffered neurological malfunctions of various sorts since high school. My skin problem is so bad I have to sequestewr myself out of the sun virtually all summer and fall lest I break out in sores. The only people that have returned my requests were two law firms. Interpreting what they said was not difficult. Granted, though I probably had cause and complaint I was far from where Marine families clustered and was basically an isolated case in the PNW therefore not profitable. Please, I need a bit of help and am getting extremely depressed that there is such a lack of interest.

    • September 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Hi David,
      Yes I remember. As a military dependent, you would be able to go through the VA claim process. I would hang on just a short bit while they decide which health issues would be considered presumptive under their new proposed guidelines. In the recent CAP meeting, it was said by a VA official that only around $140,000 (estimated) was paid out to spouses and dependents in the past 3 years. With the denial rate so high for the current claims process, I would say that you could file a claim now or give it another couple of weeks to see what comes from the presumptive rulings. Do not give up hope. You may have already checked this out, but if not, have a look:

  • September 19, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I was exposed as an active duty Marine, in 1980. I suffer from Neurobehavioral Effects and having a hard time filing my claim.

  • March 5, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    What is the publication with the strongest connection between PCE and bladder cancer
    (1) in general
    (2) with regards to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune?

    • March 8, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      Thanks for the question. First, in general, PCE (also known as perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, tetrachloroethene, or “perc”) has been classified as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen“. This classification was based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. PCE has been shown to cause liver tumors in mice, leukemias in rats, and kidney tumors in male rats. Some studies show a slightly increased risk of some types of cancer among workers exposed to PCE and other chemicals. Cancers associated with exposures include cancers of the esophagus, bladder, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I would point you to a 1995 monograph IARC study – – for a general overview. Then, there are the recent CDC studies on Lejeune – – for location-specific info. Also, regarding service connection for Lejeune and bladder cancer, you may find this of interest: . I hope you find these resources helpful. – GS

  • July 31, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I was exposed daily on average 12 hours per day for over 23 months while stationed on a later to be EPA SuperFund Naval base back in 1964 to 19966. Being an aircraft engine mechanic and a flight air crewman left me exposed to Trichloethlene 1-1-1, JP4,JP5 and transformer oils as well as open burn pits. After leaving the facility, I found out years after that the base was declared an EPA SuperFund base. I also found out that I was exposed to asbestos (living quarters), lead (living quarters and work area (hanger), as well as some insecticides and TCE from drinking water plus many more toxic COC’s.

    I started having finger movements (slight) about 15 years after discharge and started having heart issues that ended in a pacemaker around 20 years after discharge. I was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s nearly 50 years after discharge.

    My question is could any of my health issues be linked to the exposure to the TCE after all this time? There is no history of Parkinson’s, heart rhythm or diabetic concerns in my family background. VA doctors will not even try to answer my questions, let alone give me a NEXUS.

    • August 10, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story and for your service. Given the myriad of exposures involved, especially concerning TCE, there may be a connection even after all of this time. We recently reported on the potential for DNA damage from exposures to toxic chemicals and carcinogens. You can check out that link here: . If, indeed, exposures do cause harmful DNA damage, that damage could be long-lasting. TCE has been known to be linked to neurological effects and Parkinson’s. For example, even the NIH started coming around to this conclusion in 2011 in this article: Note the paragraph in that link: “TCE has also been linked to Parkinson’s by other research groups. Researchers at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and the Kangwon National University in South Korea have reported an association between TCE and Parkinson’s in highly-exposed industrial workers, and have also demonstrated that TCE causes neurodegeneration in animal models.” We’ll keep digging, and we encourage you to seek out assistance via a claim.

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  • December 16, 2016 at 9:53 am

    just being curious. Because I was exposed to lots of contaminants while enlisted ( including many flights on/off Amchitca Island from 1965 to 1967) I am wondering.
    My second child was born with retardation ( which we have never been able to find out why ). She was born in 1971 and I got out in June 1967. Could there be a direct link here?

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