Were Civilians Exposed to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

Were Civilians Exposed to Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

It’s estimated that over 900,000 service members were exposed to contaminated drinking water while serving at Camp Lejeune in the period from 1953 to 1987. The effect on those military members has been widely publicized. VA disability benefits have been awarded to servicemen and women based on this exposure. What may be overlooked is the effect on non-military members. 

Civilians Were Exposed

Many civilians were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune that were not members of the military. These people included contractors working on base and families of service members.  Unfortunately, diseases resulting from exposure to dangerous chemicals does not discriminate between civilian and military status. The illnesses experienced by veterans have affected civilians as well. 

One vulnerable group exposed to the water contamination is those women who were pregnant while stationed at Camp Lejeune. A study by the CDC has linked exposure during pregnancy to serious birth defects such a spina bifida. The study also showed a possible, less concrete link with childhood cancers. 

Those children of service members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune who were exposed outside of the womb did not dodge a bullet, either. These children were at risk of developing similar conditions to the adults exposed to the water. 

The VA has specified 15 illnesses for which it will provide healthcare for family members stationed at Camp Lejeune due to their relationship to a member of the military. Those illnesses are listed below: 

  • Breast cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Kidney cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Miscarriage
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • For the final group—civilian contractors—the VA does not provide care for conditions related to exposure to contamination Camp Lejeune water. Many of the contractors’ conditions have been or are still being litigated through the court system.

    Berry Law

    The attorneys at Berry Law Firm are dedicated to helping injured Veterans. With extensive experience working with VA disability claims, Berry Law can help you with your disability appeals.

    This material is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and the reader, and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this blog are not a substitute for legal counsel.

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