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The History and Timeline of Toxic Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Founded in 1941, North Carolina Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune is known for one of the worst cases of drinking-water contamination in United States history. Because toxic water remained in the wells for over three decades, this contamination affected as many as one million people. Many victims, who now live all over the country, are discovering the impacts years later.

The Laredo, Texas, lawyers at Carabin Shaw can help you or a loved one pursue justice for illnesses related to the public health crisis at Camp Lejeune. Though consulting an attorney is the best way to gain a complete understanding of your specific legal options, you can learn more about the chemical contamination and resulting laws below.

History and Timeline of Toxic Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

The following timeline illustrates the extreme gap between the start of contamination and the detection of toxic compounds in the Camp Lejeune drinking water:

  • 1953: Contaminants from ABC One-Hour Cleaners first enter two drinking-water systems.
  • 1979-80: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduces drinking-water standards, which include expectations for chemical waste.
  • 1980-82: Various groups first detect toxins in Camp Lejeune water. Marine officials initially ignore these warnings.
  • 1984: The EPA officially reports that some wells contain trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and benzene.
  • 1984-85: Camp Lejeune officials close contaminated wells.
Consequences of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Over years of studies, including the following early reports, the devastating effects of the water toxins became apparent:

  • 1990: The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) begins public health assessments.
  • 1997: ATSDR publishes its first comprehensive Camp Lejeune assessment.
  • 1998: ATSDR releases its first reproductive health study of children exposed to contaminants in utero.
  • 2003: A telephone survey conducted over several years finds 106 children who had birth defects or childhood cancer.

Since 2003, studies on the effects of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been ongoing. At the same time, many victims don’t need to read a study to know how severe the injuries can be.

If you were exposed to contaminated Camp Lejeune drinking water, personal injury attorneys in Laredo, TX, can help you prove that the following conditions are linked to poisoning:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Cancer of the bladder, breast, esophagus, kidney, liver, lung, and more
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects like attention disorders, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Scleroderma
Timeline of Key Justice Efforts for Camp Lejeune Victims

In response to the discovery of Camp Lejeune contaminated water and its serious consequences, several groups took steps to repair harm. The following timeline shows some of these actions:

  • 2009: A plaintiff files the first Camp Lejeune lawsuit against the U.S. government.
  • 2012: A congressional act requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide benefits to Camp Lejeune veterans who meet qualifying conditions.
  • 2017: Under the Obama administration, $2 billion in disability benefits is allotted to Camp Lejeune veterans.
  • 2021: The House of Representatives proposes the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, which expands possible compensation for victims, including non-veterans.
  • 2022: President Biden signs the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law on August 10.
Filing a Claim Under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act

Under this recent act, you must file a lawsuit by August 10, 2024. Each experienced lawyer at Carabin Shaw is knowledgeable about the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and prepared to support you as you seek compensation. Carabin Shaw’s client reviews illustrate our ability to deliver both effective legal outcomes and compassionate care in every case.

To begin your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit at no cost to you, call the toll-free number 800-862-1260 on any day of the week or time of day. Members of our staff, who speak both Spanish and English, can help you schedule a free initial consultation and case review.

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