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Reader Question – Lead at Lejeune?

by Civilian Exposure

Recently, one of our readers inquired about the possible presence of lead in the water supply at Camp Lejeune.  They were concerned about potential exposure.

Has lead poisoning ever come up regarding Lejeune? My brother and I were military dependents in Camp Lejeune in 1953-4. He died three years ago of ALS. I was diagnosed with lead poisoning in 2015. The Nurse Practitioner supervising my intake and chelation therapy was previously a nurse at the Ann Arbor VA hospital. She believed that the lead poisoning likely happened at Camp Lejeune.

Most of the contamination that has been discussed in recent years centers around carcinogens such as TCE, PCE, benzene and vinyl chloride. Yet, lead was also present. We did uncover a few mentions about lead at Lejeune in a couple of documents we want to share as a start. One of those is a 1993 NY Times article entitled High Levels of Lead Found In Water Serving 30 Million. While the article addresses a nationwide problem, it does draw on specific sites as examples, including Camp Lejeune.

In the article, they mention the following regarding lead at Camp Lejeune:

Some places showed startling concentrations. Camp Lejeune, the Marine base in North Carolina, showed lead levels that toxicologists say cause brain damage in children.

The exact numbers are startling:

Some samples from Camp Lejeune showed 484 parts per billion.

What’s most fascinating as we take a look back in time at the news of the day in 1993, it would seem that we’ve been well aware of the potential infrastructure challenges that communities such as Flint, Michigan are complaining about today.  Here’s the scope of the lead problem back then:

In its broadest survey of lead contamination in drinking water, the Environmental Protection Agency said yesterday that 819 systems serving 30 million people had excessive levels, and it ordered officials to take steps to reduce lead levels and to notify customers.

Amazing that we’ve yet to solve this national problem almost 15 years later, isn’t it?


Relevant Resources:

NJ Lead Fact Sheet – Civilian Exposure – NJDOH Lead Fact Sheet


[graphiq id=”eZChMvWm3at” title=”United States Lead Soil Levels by County” width=”600″ height=”475″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/eZChMvWm3at” ]

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Sheryle McAlister March 26, 2016 - 11:56 am

My daughter and two grandsons lived at the base and off base from 1999-2003. Both babies were born there. After using the water for bathing, cooking, making bottles, etc., her Marine husband told her that there was a notice distributed that the water was unsafe. This was after the fact. The children are now teens with a host of problems, including seizures, learning disabilities, speech problems, and have undergone tests in Ca. for abnormal brain growth. The diagnosis has been ADHD. I have often wondered if the water was a culprit as a concerned Grandmother. What, if anything can we do about this? I have contacted Erin Brockovich, with no return response regarding this.

Roxanne Wolffe July 6, 2016 - 7:58 pm

My Marine father, civilian mother, 2 older siblings and self lived and made on base there. Where can we turn to for help with these issues when most doctors look at me like a nut job when I tell them my health issues?

Civilian Exposure
Civilian Exposure July 21, 2016 - 4:03 pm

One of the key problems remains the sharing of knowledge and information among the medical communities and within the VA about what happened at Lejeune and what health impacts have resulted from it. The first thing to do is get on the registry at this link, if you have not already done so – https://clnr.hqi.usmc.mil/clwater/. Next, I would make sure to sign up for our newsletter here: http://www.civilianexposure.org/subscribe-for-civilian-exposure-updates/. You may also wish to check out the latest studies and meetings via the ATSDR and CDC on their respective websites. Feel free to contact us directly if we can be of further assistance. – GS


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