Contaminated water at a military base for a period of 30 years is still wreaking havoc today with rare cancers developing in those who drank the water those many years ago. Many have passed on and those who are alive today are still struggling with various ailments. It is said that in the 1950’s in Camp Lejeune the tap water became contaminated with harmful, cancer causing chemicals that the families on the base drank and bathed in without knowledge of the issue. Many of those who were on the camp at the time later developed various carcinomas, which are now blamed on that water. President Obama finally signed into law an act in August 2012 that will make sure that these people have medical care provided for them.
Touted as the largest contamination of water in the history of America, the Camp Lejeune water contamination caused leukemia in children, breast cancer in men, acute lymphoma and acute myeloid among others. Breast cancer is very rare among men, but of the men who have served or were born on the military base, at least 80 have been diagnosed with this rare cancer.
In addition to that, birth defects, stillbirths and infant mortality became a common thing. Babies were born with open spines, one without a cranium and so many of them died soon after birth that the military base had to set aside a section in their cemetery just for babies. This section became known as baby heaven due to the sheer volumes of babies buried there.
Once the news of the contamination was discovered, it is said that the Marine Corps did not move fast enough to contact and alert those who may have been exposed to these harmful chemicals. This led to two brave men taking matters into their own hands and making a documentary about it to get the word out to others who had served at the military base at the time.
Current healthcare legislation mandates the VA to pay and treat these conditions. Even though the babies will not come back and the cancer may not go into remission at least the financial burden of these diseases will not be on the families that have suffered so much in the last few years. It is said that millions may have been affected in the 30 years that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated. This may not be the cure all, but it will help if only a little.
By Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman, P.C. posted in The Legal Community on Wednesday, March 20, 2013