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.
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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