Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: A Glaring Example Of Government Negligence

Apr 21


John Doherty

John Doherty

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On July 28, 2010, the UN General Assembly ratified resolution 64/292, designating the right to water and sanitation as a human right. Everyone has the legal right to readily available, affordably priced, secure, safe, and hygienic sanitation while upholding their dignity in all facets of their lives.


No society should have to struggle with squalid living conditions. Government authorities have no justification for ignoring the basic sanitation requirements of their citizens. However,Camp Lejeune Water Contamination: A Glaring Example Of Government Negligence Articles there have been numerous instances of flagrant government incompetence that have left the population in great pain. 

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune is one such grave example where the government failed to uphold the dignity of its people. Spills and leaks from underground storage tanks, landfills, and commercial buildings contaminated the water at the Marine Corps Base.  It may take decades before the actual consequence of the catastrophe comes ashore. 

The water quality remained unchecked for close to 30 years, between 1953 and 1987. In this article, you shall learn more about what went down in Camp Lejeune that affected millions of war veterans. 

The Basics Of What Went Down At Camp Lejeune

It was in 1982 when for the first time, an official government report linked the Camp Lejeune waters to high levels of toxic contamination. Around 9,00,000 people could have been adversely affected by the dreadful quality of water at their disposal.

There were two primary water treatment plants serving the Marine Corps Base that contained particular volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other harmful substances. 

The two plants, out of the 8 that supplied water to Camp Lejeune, were:

  • Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant
  • Hadnot Point Treatment Plant

Studies have shown that toxins present in the water that was being used for daily activities by the residents at the Camp are potent and could cause severe health issues. 

The Health Implications Of The Water Contamination

Drinking water often becomes the biggest and the easiest source of water-borne diseases. At Camp Lejeune, the two water treatment plants that got contaminated sent toxic water for decades to the homes of veterans who lived at the Camp.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the water at Camp Lejeune got tainted with a number of industrial solvents and chemicals. These include benzene, chloroform, and vinyl chloride.

According to a report published by, the toxic nature of the water at Camp Lejeune could have resulted in over fifty thousand cases of breast cancer, some twenty thousand cases of renal cancer and bladder cancer, and several cases of Parkinson's disease, along with other severe health issues.

The primary contaminants found in the water at Camp Lejeune are:

  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE/PERC): Used as a dry cleaning solvent and an industrial chemical. 
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE): Used primarily as a metal degreaser and in cleaning supplies.
  • Vinyl Chloride: Used to manufacture PVC pipes.
  • Benzene: Used in the production of rubber and plastic items.

These industrial toxins are carcinogenic in nature. People living at the site got diagnosed with symptoms of cancers of the kidney, liver, and ovaries, Parkinson's disease, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often known as Lou Gehrig's disease). 

Prolonged exposure of pregnant women to the toxic waters at the Camp has been linked to a number of unborn casualties and severe birth defects for many kids.

The effects of exposure to toxic chemicals are there even today. 

The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

As put forth by the Veterans Administration and the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, people who lived at the camp for at least thirty (30) days between 1954 and 1987 may be eligible to file a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit. These 30 days need not be continuous. 

A point to be noted here is that dishonorably discharged personnel and their families are exempted from filing claims.  

The backbone of any successful litigation is strong evidence. Pieces of evidence that can be beneficial while filing a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit are:

  • Documents for Camp Lejeune residents
  • Records of military service that list the times and places served.
  • diagnoses and medical records
  • medical expenses
  • Travel history
  • information on health services
  • Information about disability or VA benefits

It is challenging to assess the precise compensation sums for the Camp Lejeune claims. However, according to TorHoerman Law, LLC, the overall amount of Camp Lejeune's settlements would vary depending on the injuries suffered, health issues that were identified, the length of time the servicemember had been stationed at the facility, and other similar criteria.


People who lived on-site at the time are still feeling the impacts of the Camp Lejeune water poisoning today. It's critical to keep in mind that this is a human story that spans decades and has an impact on thousands of people.

More than just contamination, Camp Lejeune's contamination was a tragedy. The families impacted by the incident are entitled to much more than is being offered. We can only hope that in the future, it will be simpler to acquire VA benefits, enabling people impacted by the incident to get the assistance they require.

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