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Camp Lejeune contaminated water

At the Marine Corps Base in Lejeune, NC, In the early 1980s,  two on-base water-supply systems were contaminated with the volatile organic compounds trichloroethylene (TCE), a metal degreaser, and perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent. Benzene, vinyl chloride, and other compounds were also found to be contaminating the water-supply systems. The water systems were contaminated from August 1953 through December 1987.
There have been numerous health problems reported that are linked to exposure to these contaminants.  

Reported health problems from working with TCE and/or PCE

  • Hodgkins disease
  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Cervical cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver/biliary cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Neurological effects (delayed reaction times problems with short-term memory, visual perception, attention, and color vision)

Reported health problems in children who were exposed in the womb from their mother drinking water contaminated with TCE and/or PCE:
  • Leukemia
  • Small for gestational age  
  • Low birth weight
  • Fetal death
  • Major heart defects
  • Neural tube defects
  • Oral cleft defects (including cleft lip)
  • Chonal atresia (nasal passages blocked with bone or tissue)
  • Eye defects

Reported health problems in children who were exposed in the womb from their mother working with TCE and/or PCE: 

  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Major malformations

Reported health problems in people of all ages from drinking water contaminated with TCE and/or PCE: 

  • Non-Hodgkins lymphoma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer

 


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