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How toxic materials in the water at Camp Lejeune affected soldiers and their families
Soldiers and families stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina Marine Corps Base from August 1953 through December 1987 might have been exposed to toxic water due to the dumping of oil, industrial wastewater, and radioactive chemicals into storm drains.
The drinking and bathing water of the Tarawa Terrace family housing units may have been contaminated with one or more of the following toxins:
- Trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreaser;
- Perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry-cleaning solvent;
- Benzene, an industrial solvent; and,
- Vinyl chloride, a colorless, flammable gas used in plastics.
The levels of PCE and TCE found in the water during this time period exceeded the parts per million allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as mentioned in the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Exposure to toxin-contaminated drinking water occurred because these chemicals leaked into groundwater that supplied the Tarawa Terrace drinking water system from several local businesses adjacent to the Camp Lejeune military base.
Although the base shut down the Tarawa Terrace water treatment plant in 1987 because of toxic contamination, the damage had already been done and senior base officials sought to cover it up from the media.
New reports suggest that more and more soldiers and families are coming forward
In response to the diagnoses of deadly conditions suffered by those stationed, living, and working at the military base, Congress outlined a couple of specific pieces of legislation over the years that paved the way for justice and compensation to those affected.
The first was called H.R.1627 - Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012–specifically designed to improve the life conditions of all those veterans affected in the following ways:
- Healthcare matters;
- Housing matters;
- Homeless matters;
- Education matters;
- Retroactive benefits;
- Memorial, burial, and cemetery benefits; and,
- Other business-related benefits.
The second piece of legislation, H.R.2192 - Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021, is a bill which stated that affected individuals could sue and recover damages from the federal government for harmful exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.
Most notably, the second bill prohibited the U.S. government from asserting immunity from litigation in response to such lawsuits filed by veteran victims, survivors, and families.
The Shield Justice Watch team believes that victims, survivors, and families of exposure to toxic poisonings from Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base should receive compensation and justice as outlined in both H.R.1627 - Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 and H.R.2192 - Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2021.
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