Is There a Link Between Camp Lejeune Toxic Waters & Parkinson’s Disease?

  May 3, 2024

 Camp Lejeune Toxic Waters & Parkinson's Disease

Drinking contaminated water leads to various health issues. The dirty waters of Camp Lejeune stand testimony to that. Veterans who stayed in this region between 1953 and 1987 were affected by the polluted drinking water and developed various health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease.

Some sailors and marines unknowingly drank the toxic water that contained organic solvents and VOCs. A few studies confirm that these people had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD) compared to others.

This article will focus on the link between Parkinson’s disease and the polluted waters of Camp Lejeune. We will also discuss how to seek legal compensation for it.

The Connection Between Toxic Waters of Camp Lejeune & Parkinson’s Disease

In 2023, the Department of Defense awarded a grant of $700,000 to a team of researchers from the University of Alabama. They were given this amount to study how TCE (trichloroethylene) exposure adversely impacts cognitive dysfunction and neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. This grant came under the department’s Toxin Exposure Research Program.

Almost 85% of PD doesn’t have a genetic cause. However, TCE is considered a common environmental factor linked to increased PD risk. It is a common component used in degreasing compounds and refrigerants. Since TCE had been used in military and industrial settings, it contaminated the environment and led to widespread occupational exposure.

Camp Lejeune faced TCE exposure between the 1950s and 1980s when the chemical was present at high levels in the soil and groundwater of this region. That made the residents suffer from several ailments, such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, and even PD.

The Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology published a study stating that harsh chemicals polluted the water supply at the base for over four decades and caused harmful diseases. These ailments can negatively affect one’s nervous system and also lead to slurred speech, tremors, and mobility issues.

Furthermore, the research also compared the health records of over 172,000 personnel from Camp Lejeune with 170,000 at Camp Pendleton who didn’t get exposed to the toxic waters. 

According to the data, 279 service members who were from Camp Lejeune showed tendencies of PD-like symptoms or were diagnosed with the ailment, compared to 151 people from Camp Pendleton. As a result, most have filed a Camp Lejeune lawsuit to seek fair compensation for covering their medical expenses.

The Inference Drawn So Far

Therefore, considering the data available at hand, researchers realized that Camp Lejeune veterans had a higher risk of developing PD compared to the ones on the East Coast base. The same was true for PD-like symptoms such as tremors, anxiety, and erectile dysfunction.

According to Dr. Samuel Goldman, a professor at the University of California, several people across the globe have been and still are exposed to environmental contaminants, such as TCE and PCE. The water pollution was an outcome of illegal dumping by an off-base dry cleaning company, on-base personnel, spills, and leaks from the underground storage tanks.

The government for many years failed to alert people about the extent of this contamination. But the pressure from the media, service members, and their relatives made the federal government allow VA disability benefits to the affected individuals. It also provided proper health care to the families in this region suffering from chronic health conditions.

How To Navigate the Legal Path?

It is necessary for every person who has stayed at Camp Lejeune during the contamination phase and has developed PD to file a lawsuit. According to TorHoerman Law, you must consult a lawyer and share your case history for them to determine if you are eligible for a legal claim. Once you are, share the required documents and pieces of evidence with them to establish the link between your PD diagnoses and the toxic waters in this region.

An expert lawyer will guide you on how to get the necessary evidence and facts. It can include your residential proof, medical reports, healthcare data, medicine bills, travel records, and data on disability benefits. Furthermore, they will let you know about your probable settlement payout based on your sufferings. The amount will differ from others because it is case-specific.

In conclusion, Camp Lejeune’s polluted waters caused Parkinson’s disease and other ailments among the veterans who stayed here during the contamination period. The increasing number of lawsuits acts as an awareness of this fact and also a way to seek 

compensation. Therefore, if you have suffered from this ailment, get yourself medically checked and start the required treatment. After that, you can use your medical documents to file a lawsuit and ask for the compensatory amount you deserve.