Veterans exposed to perchloroethylene, at high risk of bladder cancer

Michael Bartlett

By Michael Bartlett

Posted on July 20th, 2023

As a nonflammable, liquid solvent widely used in dry cleaning, fabric manufacturing, and metal degreasing, perchloroethylene is carcinogenic to humans. Exposure to this chemical might cause many health issues, from liver damage to kidney cancer. There is also a link between perchloroethylene exposure and bladder cancer.

Perchloroethylene may be found in suede protectors, furniture strippers, paint removers, water repellents, silicone lubricants, glues, and wood cleaners. It evaporates slowly at room temperature and has a sweet odor. During the last century, the solvent was also lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, specifically in a concentration eclipsing the safe exposure limit by 43 times. For this reason, veterans and family members who lived at the military base between 1953 and 1987 should keep a close eye on their health, as they might develop a serious illness.

The solvent was found to be responsible for liver cancer, kidney cancer, and leukemia in laboratory animals. Still, before leading to these malignant diseases, it might initially cause liver or kidney damage. People with liver damage are twice as likely to develop cancer, whereas 1 in 5 people with kidney damage eventually develop cancer. When a pregnant woman becomes sick from perchloroethylene exposure, the development of her fetus may also be affected, which is why they should avoid coming in contact with this chemical during pregnancy.

Perchloroethylene is associated with a significantly increased risk of bladder cancer at medium exposure

A study from Cancer Epidemiology provides evidence of a significant association between perchloroethylene exposure and bladder cancer. Furthermore, the researchers found that if a person is simultaneously exposed to perchloroethylene, aromatic hydrocarbon solvents, benzene, and trichloroethylene, the risk of developing bladder cancer increases considerably. These solvents were present in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune, which means that veterans and family members have a high risk of bladder cancer. Furthermore, a study from Occupational & Environmental Medicine concluded that perchloroethylene exposure is associated with a moderate, significantly increased risk of bladder cancer. Excesses occurred in the participants, but they could not be explained by tobacco use.

If you spent time at Camp Lejeune while the drinking water was toxic, either as a veteran or a family member of one, and now suspect you have bladder cancer, seek medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • burning sensation during urination
  • frequent urination
  • blood in the urine
  • lower back pain on one side
  • not being able to pass urine
  • urgency to urinate at night

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified perchloroethylene as "probably carcinogenic to humans" based on limited evidence of a high risk of bladder cancer in dry cleaners. Furthermore, perchloroethylene exposure was found to cause kidney cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, liver cancer, and multiple myeloma, all of which are diseases that might deem veterans and family members eligible to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim. Pregnant women who lived at the military base might give birth to children with cardiac defects due to perchloroethylene exposure from the water. Finally, a study from Environmental Health Perspectives provides suggestive evidence of carcinogenicity when it comes to perchloroethylene.

File your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim with the assistance of our skilled attorneys

With over 30 years in pursuing compensation for toxic exposure victims, including many veterans, our attorneys will gladly evaluate your case to determine whether you are entitled to compensation if you spent time at Camp Lejeune and developed a disease. Veterans will only have to provide us with their military records, which they must retrieve, and their medical records to have their case assessed, while family members who intend to file a claim will need to submit evidence of their stay at the military base along with their medical records stating their diagnosis.

Because we understand how challenging affording treatment can be, we prioritize the claims of Camp Lejeune veterans and family members so they can obtain financial compensation as soon as possible. The legal process is simple and will mostly take place over the phone, as we know how overwhelming struggling with a serious disease can be. Eventually, if our endeavors are fruitful, you might obtain the money you deserve for your unjust suffering. Our law firm works on a contingency fee basis, so you will not have to pay anything unless we recover compensation.