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Camp Lejeune's toxic exposure may account for a substantial portion of the prostate cancer risk

By Treven Pyles

Posted on August 12th, 2020

In September 2012, more mercury was discovered at the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant at Camp Lejeune, bringing the total mercury count to 12 pounds. Mercury is an important endocrine disruptor that mimics the effect of estrogens leading to changes in cell proliferation, and thereby, contributing to prostate cancer development.

From 1953 through 1985, numerous wells servicing two of the treatment plants located on the main portion of the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune were contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as perchloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE) from an off-base dry cleaning facility. The contaminated wells were shut down between December 1984 and February 1985.

In 1989, Camp Lejeune was placed on the National Priorities List for clean-up under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). In the early 1990s, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) began assessing the potentially harmful health effects associated with exposure to the toxic agents present at Camp Lejeune.

The toxic substances identified at Camp Lejeune can increase the risk of prostate cancer

Like all types of cancer, prostate cancer occurs when a normal cell stops functioning properly and begins to grow and divide uncontrollably. While researchers argue that almost all cancers occur due to hereditary and gene defects, it has also been found that ingestion of a harmful substances create a measurable risk for cancer.

There are currently a number of researches into causes, prevention, and treatment of prostate cancer, one of the health conditions linked to Camp Lejeune contamination. According to a series of studies, exposure to mercury at a young age may increase the chance of prostate cancer development in adulthood, because it may mimic or interfere with certain hormones in the body, such as estrogen. Mercury is an important endocrine disruptor that mimics the effect of estrogens and activates the estrogen receptors leading to changes in cell proliferation, and thereby, contributing to prostate cancer development and progression.

In September 2012, more mercury was discovered at the Hadnot Point Treatment Plant at Camp Lejeune, bringing the total mercury count to 12 pounds.

If you served or lived at Camp Lejeune through 1953 and 1987, including in these base housing areas:

  • Tarawa Terrace
  • Midway Park
  • Berkeley Manor
  • Paradise Point
  • Hadnot Point
  • Hospital Point
  • Watkins Village

you were exposed to more than 70 chemical contaminants including elemental mercury, degreasers, dry-cleaning solvents, and flammable liquids at concentrations much higher than the permitted safety standards.

If you served at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, contact us for a review of your case

Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members exposed to toxic agents at Camp Lejeune can receive disability and health care benefits for eight presumptive disease conditions associated with exposure to health-hazardous contaminants at Camp Lejeune.

However, it's important for veterans and their families who were impacted by the environmental contamination at Camp Lejeune, to know that claims for disability compensation are not limited to these conditions. Additional conditions will be considered if supported by competent medical evidence.


If you lived or worked at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for at least 30 cumulative days from August 1953 through December 1987, you may be entitled to disability compensation and/or reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical costs through the VA. The conditions eligible for healthcare benefits, such as reimbursement for out-of-pocket healthcare costs, also include prostate cancer.

Environmental Litigation Group P.C. is an experienced law firm dedicated to providing high-quality legal assistance to veterans of the United States Armed Forces. We assisted thousands of veterans from across the country and obtained millions of dollars of compensation on their behalf. Our goal is to be there through every step of the journey to inform and guide you through the complicated claim process.