From August 1953 to December 1987, hundreds of thousands of brave men and women decided to serve their country while living at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base. They were repaid with serious health conditions that tie back to contaminated water from the camp itself. During this time, dangerous toxins were released into the water.
Like other negligent environmental disasters caused by public agencies, these agencies need to be held accountable when they risk millions of people’s health. If you or a loved one want justice for the negligent exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, reach out to a compassionate lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi, PLC.
Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
From August 1953 to at least 1985, millions of Marines, military personnel, and their family members were stationed at Camp Lejeune. These innocent bystanders did not know that the water they were bathing and drinking contained several different chemical contaminants from a local dry cleaning business.
The off-base dry cleaner improperly disposed of the different dry cleaning products used to operate their business. This act of negligence has caused hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members to suffer from serious health conditions like bladder cancer.
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Contaminants Discovered in the Water
In total, at least 70 different chemicals were discovered in the water at Camp Lejeune. The main chemicals responsible for the contaminants include TCE, PCE, VC, and Benzene.
TCE is a chemical that is often used for cleaning metal parts. It is often used as a solvent that can remove grease from other metal parts. Being exposed to this type of chemical in even small doses can cause you to experience dizziness, headaches, and sleepiness.
Consuming large amounts of TCE can lead to serious conditions such as a coma and even death.
PCE is a dry cleaning solvent. People living near a dry cleaner are at risk of being exposed to larger amounts of this solvent than others in different geographic locations. Over time, constant exposure to PCE can increase the chances of someone being diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Vinyl chloride (VC)
Vinyl chloride is a volatile organic compound. It is a man-made substance that is not formed organically. It is often a result of what happens when other chemicals like TCE and PCE are broken down.
Breathing in vinyl chloride for several years can cause the structure of a person’s liver. Other serious health risks include nerve damage and immune disorders. Constant exposure to vinyl chloride can also increase the risks of brain, liver, and lung cancer.
Benzene is a chemical formed from human activities and natural processes. When you ingest benzene, you increase your chances of suffering from anemia and leukemia. Regarding leukemia specifically, benzene can cause serious damage to the bone marrow and significantly reduce the number of red blood cells in your body, increasing the chances of being diagnosed.
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The Probability of Developing Bladder Cancer
With the ongoing exposure to these dangerous chemicals, veterans and their family members are in danger of developing serious health conditions like bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that many people experience. It occurs when there are abnormal changes within the cells of the bladder.
When your body has ingested and been exposed to dangerous chemicals, it can increase your risk of being diagnosed with bladder cancer. One of the most frightening realities of exposure to dangerous chemicals is that the serious consequences will not develop until decades after you have been exposed to the chemicals.
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The Symptoms of Bladder Cancer
Some of the common symptoms of bladder cancer include blood in the urine, irritation with the bladder, signs of advanced bladder cancer, and more.
Blood in the Urine
This is one of the most common signs that you may be suffering from bladder cancer. In some cases, there may be enough blood that changes the color of the urine from pink, orange, or dark red.
Irritation with the Bladder
You may experience changes with your urination, such as pain or burning, needing to urinate more often, or having a weak urine stream.
Signs of Advanced Bladder Cancer
Depending on how quickly cancer has spread to other parts of the body, you can experience more severe symptoms. Some severe symptoms you can experience include bone pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, inability to urinate, and feeling tired or weak.
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Suppose you were a veteran or a family member of a veteran who lived at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987. In that case, you have the right to hold several parties liable if you have developed a serious health condition like bladder cancer. More than likely, your health condition results from exposure to the Marine base’s contaminated water.
It is not right that your health has been violated due to another party’s negligence. One of the legal options that you have is filing a water contamination lawsuit against either Camp Lejeune, the dry cleaning company, or other government agencies.
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Through your lawsuit, you have the opportunity to recover compensation for your cancer diagnosis. All medical expenses you had to pay out of pocket about your bladder cancer can be compensated as damages in your lawsuit. This includes expenses for chemotherapy, radiation therapy, medications, medical transportation, and in-home medical assistance.
You can also be compensated for any time taken off from your occupation. The wages you lost out on while seeking treatment for your cancer are considered damage.
Speak to a Water Contamination Lawyer Today
When you suffer a serious health condition from contaminated water, you deserve to hold the negligent party accountable. While you want justice for your injuries, you may not feel as confident seeking justice from government agencies. At Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu, & Montesi, PLC, our water contamination lawyers are passionate about fighting for your legal rights and compensation.
Call our office, or fill out a free case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.