Leukemia due to toxic exposure on military bases

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on August 03rd, 2020

Thousands of military personnel and civilians, such as family members of military officers living on military bases, were exposed to volatile organic compounds from industrial operations. Furthermore, there is sufficient scientific and medical evidence to establish a strong association between exposure to these chemicals and leukemia incidence.

For decades, hazardous waste - including benzene-containing petroleum products, such as diesel fuel and gasoline, was directly discharged at U.S. military bases contaminating soil, groundwater, and air and resulting in environmental pollution with potentially serious health consequences for military residents their family members living with them.

Synthetic PFAS-containing foams, industrial solvents, dry cleaning fluids, potentially radioactive chemicals, lead, fuel, and other toxic waste seeped into the ground until slowly, over time, seeping into the groundwater. Benzene is extremely hazardous in inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through the skin, leading to blood disorders ranging from anemia to leukemia.

Benzene exposure increases the risk of developing leukemia and other blood disorders

Veterans who lived and worked on military installations were exposed to harmful contaminants. Benzene was among them. Studies show that benzene exposure can increase the risk of certain cancers, including leukemia - cancer caused by an overproduction of damaged white blood cells, by as much as 40 percent.

Environmental benzene exposure has been associated with a range of acute and long-term adverse health effects and diseases, including cancer. The IARC has classified benzene as carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient evidence that the organic chemical compound causes multiple types of leukemia, including:

  • acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)
  • acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

According to the Department of Medicine at Weill Medical College at the Methodist Hospital of Houston, acute myelogenous leukemia has been proven to be caused by benzene. In fact, in certain cases, our experts can pinpoint genetic damage in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia consistent with past benzene exposures. In addition, evidence obtained from laboratory animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed in benzene.

Give us a call if you have qualifying service at one of the targeted military bases

Instances of industrial discharge, both accidental and deliberate, have caused widespread benzene exposure in entire communities through soil, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds. Exposure to dangerous substances is an underestimated hazard associated with active duty service, as those who ingest toxic chemicals may suffer from various medical conditions.

Our mission is to provide professional and efficient legal services to active duty personnel and immediate family members stationed at military sites contaminated with toxic compounds. Consequently, if you have documentation proving you have leukemia and qualifying service at one of the targeted military bases, our law firm wants to help you maximize the financial support. You will have to send our legal team your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records. Please contact Environmental Litigation Group P.C. for a complimentary, no-obligation consultation to learn about your legal rights.