The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention shows a connection between contaminated tap water at Camp Lejeune and an increased risk of serious birth defects and childhood cancers. The ground water contamination was tracked to two primary sources. One being an on-base fuel depot that was leaking, and the other was a neighboring dry cleaner.
Many studies have indicated that babies that were born to mothers who were exposed to the contaminated tap water were four times more likely to have complications and serious birth defects than mothers who did not. Those exposed not only drank the water, but they used it to bathe in, swim in, cook with, wash clothes, and mix their baby formula with it.
These toxins were linked to miscarriages, birth defects, cancers, such as leukemia, spina bifida and neurological behaviors. Furthermore, the veterans themselves and family members developed bladder, breast, esophageal, kidney and lung cancers.
Veterans and their family members described their unimaginable experiences while stationed at Camp Lejeune. They noticed the pungent smell that came from the water. They described it smelling like cigarette lighter fluid. The odor was so strong that some would use mixes such as lemonade, instant tea, or tang just to make it drinkable. Others would see birds falling from the sky and other animals lying dead in their yard. Indescribably the most awful stories of them all were the multiple miscarriages, stillborn, diseases, cancers and deaths.
These reports, while unsurprising, are deeply troubling and reinforces the need to provide adequate healthcare to veterans and their families who served at Camp Lejeune.
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