Exposure to the toxic agents at Camp Lejeune greatly increases the risk of some types of liver cancer

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 29th, 2020

Environmental contamination at Camp Lejeune continues to plague thousands of veterans and their families across the country. New evidence is adding support to the theory that cancer-causing chemicals identified at Camp Lejeune can cause severe illnesses, including hepatic angiosarcoma - a rare form of liver cancer.

Veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces at Camp Lejeune for 30 or more cumulative days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, may qualify for VA disability compensation and certain medical benefits, following the passage of the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. The evidence must also show they have a current disease and a medical opinion indicating the disease is a result of exposure to harmful substances found at Camp Lejeune.

Exposure to vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene can increase the rates of liver cancer by five times

It's recognized that environmental factors play a role in the development of many types of cancer, including liver cancer. Among these factors is exposure to certain chemicals that contained high levels of toxicity.

Between 1952 and 1987, the wells that supplied two areas of housing at Camp Lejeune were contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Nearly 1 million Marines, sailors, civilian employees, and military family members were potentially exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.

The most prevalent and health-hazardous contaminants identified were:

  • perchloroethylene (PCE) - a liquid solvent primarily used for dry-cleaning fabrics and degreasing metals
  • trichloroethylene (TCE) - an industrial solvent used for degreasing metal parts during the manufacture of a variety of products
  • benzene - a hazardous component of jet fuel
  • vinyl chloride - a key chemical used to make plastic products

Vinyl chloride is a colorless gas that evaporates very quickly, and an important industrial chemical chiefly used to produce the polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It can enter the soil following improper disposal of chemical wastes. It is classified as a human carcinogen and has been shown to induce liver cancer in rats, mice, hamsters, and humans.

Based on a rat bioassay, a quantitative estimate of human cancer hazard was calculated for exposure to this compound. Both TCE and vinyl chloride identified in Camp Lejeune have toxic effects on the liver, and it has recently been suggested that also cause hepatocellular carcinoma.

If you have qualifying service at Camp Lejeune and a current diagnosis of liver cancer, you are eligible for compensation

According to the VA, up to 23,000 veterans may be eligible for these benefits, which could total $2.2 billion in payments over five years.

To qualify, you must submit records to confirm both your diagnosis and your military service.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with liver cancer or any medical condition you believe may be linked to exposure to the toxic agents identified at Camp Lejeune, please call us for a review of your case, because:

  • we are available to speak with you at any time, and we'll answer all of your questions
  • we will handle every aspect of your claim, from start to finish while you focus on improving your health
  • we will stand up for you and help you obtain the compensation you deserve