Our lawyers are accepting Camp Lejeune prostate cancer cases from individuals who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune and were diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 60. We are also reviewing some other prostate cancer cases that are over 60 in some cases.
This page will focus on the link between prostate cancer and the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. Our lawyers look at who is eligible to file a Camp Lejeune prostate cancer lawsuit and how much Lejeune prostate cases might be worth in a settlement
What Chemicals Were in the Water at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is a big Marine Corps base in North Carolina that has been around since the 1940s. The base serves as a residence for a population of about 50,000. The base has its own water system to supply the resident population with potable water.
In the 1980s the water at Camp Lejeune was tested for the first time in response to new environmental regulations. The testing revealed that the Camp Lejeune water was heavily contaminated with several toxic chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
TCE and PCE
The two primary contaminants found in the Camp Lejeune water were perchloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). These chemicals are types of chlorinated solvents and they are well known to be hazardous to the human body and considered carcinogens.
Benzene and Vinyl Chloride
The water at Lejeune was also corrupted with vinyl chloride and benzene. Vinyl chloride is a particularly toxic chemical known that is used in the manufacture of PVC pipes. It can also result from the chemical breakdown of chlorinated solvents such as PCE and TCE, which is how it likely ended up in the water at Lejeune. Vinyl chloride is a notorious human carcinogen that has been scientifically linked with a handful of different types of cancer.
Benzene is a byproduct of petroleum and it is widely used for a number of industrial purposes. Like vinyl chloride, benzene especially hazardous and it is a well-known carcinogen.
How Contaminated Was the Water at Camp Lejeune?
Camp Lejeune is considered one of the worst incidents of contaminated drinking water in U.S. history because of the level of the contaminants in the water and the length of time that the contamination lasted. The levels of PCE and TCE in the water at Camp Lejeune were several hundred times above the maximum safe limits for human exposure. The levels of benzene and vinyl chloride in the water were much lower.
When Was the Water at Camp Lejeune Contaminated?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a branch of the CDC, began performing testing and research on the Camp Lejeune water pollution back in 1991. The ATSDR developed advanced modeling data that was used to historically map and calculate the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Based on the ATSDR modeling data, it is believed that the contamination of the water at Camp Lejeune began in August 1953 and ended in December 1987. During this 34-year time period, the contamination levels varied in different areas of the base.
Evidence Linking Early Prostate Cancer to Water at Camp Lejeune
Exposure to TCE has been associated with increased rates of prostate cancer by both public health agencies study data from Camp Lejeune residents and scientific studies on occupational TCE exposure.
ATSDR Study Finds Higher Prostate Cancer Rates
The ATSDR, along with several other public health agencies, has undertaken significant studies to assess the impact that the water contamination had on residents and employees of Camp Lejeune. The ATSDR study looked at health histories and death/mortality data for thousands of former Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune and civilian employees who worked there. This data was then compared to a control group from another Marine Corps base (Camp Pendleton) with clean water.
The ATSDR study found that employees and residents from the Camp Lejeune group had significantly higher mortality rates from prostate cancer. More significantly, the study found evidence that those individuals with the most extensive exposure to the contaminated water at Lejeune displayed the highest mortality and incidence rates for prostate cancer. This was considered highly suggestive of a causal association between exposure to the polluted water at Lejeune and prostate cancer.
In addition to the ATSDR findings, epidemiological studies and medical articles have identified an association between TCE exposure and prostate cancer. Specifically, the Report on Carcinogens (11th ed.) Trichloroethylene CAS No. 79-01-6 states that occupational exposure to TCE is associated with “excess incidences” of prostate cancer. The Toxicology Review of Trichlorethylene published by the Environmental Protection Agency makes a similar conclusion, citing a pair of studies from 1991 and 1996.
VA Appeal Board Finds Evidence Linking TCE to Prostate Cancer
In 2010, the Board of Veteran’s Appeals (VA Appeal Board) ruled that there was sufficient medical and scientific evidence to find that a veteran’s prostate cancer was caused by his exposure to TCE during military to warrant extending VA benefits coverage. At issue in that VA Appeal Board case (Docket No. 8-21 876) was whether there was enough evidence to show that the veteran’s prostate cancer was caused by his exposure to TCE during his time in the military.
The VA presented an opinion that there was not sufficient medical evidence to link TCE to prostate cancer. The VA Appeal Board disagree, however, citing to several medical articles stating that there is an association between TCE exposure and prostate cancer. The VA Appeal Board found that the evidence regarding prostate cancer and TCE exposure was at least “evenly balanced” and, therefore, ruled in favor of the veteran.
Who is Eligible to File a Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer Lawsuit?
Under the newly passed Camp Lejeune Justice Act, anyone who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 can bring a tort claim for injuries related to the contaminated water. Our firm is currently accepting Camp Lejeune toxic water cases from individuals who worked or lived at Lejeune and were diagnosed with prostate cancer prior to age 60. We are not seeking cases from people who were diagnosed with prostate cancer after age 60 because of difficulties proving causation.
Contact Us About Camp Lejeune Prostate Cancer Cases
If you lived at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and you were diagnosed with prostate cancer from the bad water on that base, call us today at 800-553-8082 to see if you have a compensation claim. You can also get a free, no-obligation case review online.