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Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Definition

The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination refers to the historical water contamination incident at the United States Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina. Between 1953 and 1987, people at the base were exposed to contaminated drinking water containing harmful chemicals such as trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and other contaminants. The VA provides benefits and healthcare assistance to veterans and their families who were affected by this contamination, and who suffer from specific illnesses as a result of the exposure.

Key Takeaways

  1. The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination refers to the pollution of drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where hazardous chemicals were present at significant levels from the 1950s to the 1980s.
  2. Veterans, their dependents, and former residents who were exposed to the contaminated water may experience health issues and are eligible for VA benefits, including healthcare and disability compensation.
  3. The VA presumes that certain health conditions are caused by exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, making it easier for affected individuals to qualify for benefits without having to prove a direct connection to their specific condition.

Importance

The term “Camp Lejeune Water Contamination” is important because it refers to a critical issue that affected thousands of military personnel and their families who were stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987.

During this period, people living on the base were exposed to drinking water contaminated with harmful chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreaser; perchloroethylene (PCE), a dry cleaning agent; and vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. This contamination has resulted in a variety of health problems and illnesses among those affected, such as cancer, birth defects, and other long-term medical conditions.

Due to this serious public health issue, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has established specific benefits and resources for eligible veterans and their family members, which include healthcare services, disability compensation, and the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program.

Recognizing the term Camp Lejeune Water Contamination is essential to understanding the background, challenges, and support available for individuals impacted by this historic environmental calamity.

Explanation

The Camp Lejeune Water Contamination refers to a concerning issue that took place at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where a significant amount of toxic chemicals and substances were found contaminating the base’s water supply systems between 1953 and 1987.

This event had a devastating impact on both Marine personnel and their families who lived and worked on the base, as they were exposed to hazardous substances, thereby increasing their risk of serious health conditions. Consequently, the purpose of the term and recognition in VA benefits is to provide assistance and support to the affected veterans and their families for the adverse health effects caused by this contamination.

In response to this water contamination crisis, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) set up specific benefits and healthcare programs to address the needs of those who were affected by the contamination at Camp Lejeune. These benefits include medical care and disability compensation for eligible veterans and their family members who developed certain health conditions as a result of being exposed to the toxic chemicals present in the contaminated water.

The establishment of these benefits underscores the government’s commitment to taking care of its military personnel and their families even after their service has ended, ensuring that their health needs are met and providing financial support for those experiencing long-term effects from this tragic event.

Examples of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Jerry Ensminger’s Case: Jerry Ensminger is a retired Marine Master Sergeant who had served at Camp Lejeune. His daughter, Janey, was born in 1976 while the family was stationed at the base. Janey developed leukemia and died at the age of nine. Years later, through Jerry’s persistent search for answers, the link between water contamination at Camp Lejeune and various illnesses among veterans, civilian employees, and their families was established. Jerry’s dedication led to the passage of the Janey Ensminger Act, which extended healthcare benefits to affected individuals at Camp Lejeune.

Health Issues among Camp Lejeune Veterans: Many veterans who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, have reported serious health issues, such as multiple types of cancer, leukemia, miscarriages, infertility, and birth defects in their children. It was later discovered that the water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with toxic chemicals, including trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and benzene, which have been linked to the health problems experienced by those living and working at the camp during this time period.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Legislation: In 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act, also known as the “Janey Ensminger Act,” named after Jerry Ensminger’s daughter. This legislation provides healthcare benefits to eligible veterans and their family members who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. The VA Benefits provided as a result of this legislation include hospital care, medical services, and other resources for affected individuals who suffer from specific illnesses and conditions related to the water contamination.

FAQ: Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

What is Camp Lejeune water contamination?

From 1953 to 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune, a US Marine Corps base in North Carolina, was contaminated with harmful chemicals. This contamination led to adverse health effects for those who lived and worked on the base during that period.

Who is affected by the water contamination at Camp Lejeune?

Service members, family members, and civilian employees who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days from August 1953 to December 1987 were potentially exposed to contaminated water, which could lead to various health issues.

What health issues have been linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination?

Health issues linked to the Camp Lejeune water contamination include kidney cancer, liver cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, adult leukemia, multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s disease, bladder cancer, and aplastic anemia.

What benefits are available to those affected by Camp Lejeune water contamination?

VA benefits are available for affected veterans, including healthcare and disability compensation. Family members may also be eligible for healthcare benefits and reimbursement for medical costs related to specified conditions caused by the contamination.

How do I apply for Camp Lejeune water contamination-related VA benefits?

To apply for disability compensation, veterans can submit an application through the eBenefits website or by visiting their local VA regional office. For healthcare benefits, veterans can apply online or by mail, while family members can submit an application on the Camp Lejeune Family Member Program website.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • 4.

  • Perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • 5.

  • VA healthcare benefits for Camp Lejeune veterans

Sources for More Information