Veterans' toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on August 05th, 2020

Numerous studies have examined the link between the toxic exposure at Camp Lejeune and a range of diseases among servicemembers stationed there. Most recently, a report issued by the CDC, found that Lejeune Marines had a 47 percent higher risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma compared to the Marines stationed at other bases.

Several studies concerning the link between exposure to dangerous chemicals and the onset of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma have been conducted in a handful of states. There are many scientific experts who suspect that the ingestion of harmful substances may be an underlying factor. It does not seem to be a very farfetched idea since hazardous industrial spills and leaks are happening all the time across the country.

The following chemicals, identified at Camp Lejeune, have been shown to cause adverse health effects in humans:

  • trichloroethylene
  • perchloroethylene
  • vinyl chloride
  • benzene
  • halogenated hydrocarbons
  • trihalomethanes

Associations between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and exposure to TCE and PCE found in the CDC's study

Exposure to toxic agents is responsible for many cancers. Since the mid-1970s, several epidemiologic studies have suggested an association between exposure to organic contaminants and increased rates of cancer. The focus to date has been on chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE).

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a type of cancer that impacts the white blood cells or lymphocytes. White blood cells are a part of your immune system, which help fight off infections and diseases within your body. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can start almost anywhere in your body where lymph tissue is found. In February 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an assessment of the effects of contamination at Camp Lejeune. The report found that Lejeune Marines had a 47 percent higher risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma compared to the Marines stationed at other bases.

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma - one of the presumptive conditions associated with Camp Lejeune's contamination

If you have qualifying service at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and a current diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you may be able to get disability benefits.

In 2017, the VA established a presumption of service connection for certain diseases associated with contaminants found in the early 1980s at Camp Lejeune. Presumptive service connection means the VA presumes that certain illnesses were caused by military service.

For example, veterans who have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and were stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1952, and December 31, 1987, do not need to prove that their illness is connected to their military service. The VA will automatically consider it being caused by service.

If you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and believe it might be related to your exposure to toxic chemicals during your time at Camp Lejeune, we can help

If you served at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between 1957 and 1987, you may have had contact with dangerous chemicals. We encourage you to contact your family physician regarding any concerns you may have about your health or your family's health.

If you have a current diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and your military records are showing that you served at Camp Lejeune for at least 30 days, you are eligible for compensation. Now that the VA presumes service connection for Camp Lejeune veterans with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the focus can shift from proving service connection to making sure the agency of the federal government assigns the correct rating. Contact Environmental Litigation Group P.C. today to learn about your legal right to compensation. Our attorneys are experienced working with veterans and will make sure your rights are protected.