The Government Ignored Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Studies 

Camp Lejeune water contamination studies tie health problems, including cancers and premature births that military families experienced, to their time living on base. 

From the 1960s through the mid-1980s, Camp Lejeune water contained chemicals that poisoned thousands of families living on base. The ensuing illnesses affected service members, their spouses, and children stationed at Camp Lejeune then, and they still do today. Loving families of honest, hardworking women and men like Tim, a Marine poisoned by the water at Camp Lejeune, are left to grapple with the injustice of the Government’s actions.

Tim’s time at Camp Lejeune in the 1980s was long enough to seal his fate. The once-healthy Marine’s kidneys began to fail in 1985 as a result of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells. Known for his unwavering spirit and fight, Tim lived in remission for 13 years until another devastating diagnosis: esophageal cancer. This time Tim didn’t survive, and never learned that Camp Lejeune’s water contamination was the source of his health problems, or the role the Government played in them.


The Government Ignored Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Studies

Chemists began testing Camp Lejeune drinking water in October 1980 in response to new regulations announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Years would pass before any wells were taken out of service, but Tim and many of his comrades were never notified about what the Camp Lejeune water contamination studies suggested. The Government concealed, for decades, the chemicals discovered in the water at the base. Finally, news about the water studies began to ripple through the military community; this led to new laws aiding those affected by Camp Lejeune’s contaminated water. For too many residents of Camp Lejeune, the notifications and assistance came much too late.

The Scope of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Health Problems

Tim’s story is only one among thousands of military members and civilians who experienced water contamination-related health problems at Camp Lejeune. Water modeling efforts indicate the water was tainted by chemicals between 1953 and 1987. The number of citizens living in family housing units served by contaminated water systems is vast, and these figures do not take into account civilian employees and patrons of daycare centers, schools, cafeterias, and administrative offices. 

Though the water contamination was known, the Government remained silent about the chemicals; personnel, civilians, and children living on base continued to drink and bathe in the contaminated water. Some of their health problems were noticeable immediately as the number of stillborn babies, miscarriages, and children born with cardiac birth defects at Camp Lejeune soared. Other diseases, like Tim’s cancers, would surface decades later.

Tim lived and died as a Marine. The ‘Semper Fi’ tattooed on his arms signified a brotherhood forged on battlefields. Those who survived living at Camp Lejeune during the water contamination timeline shouldn’t struggle with their health problems and hardships alone.