Camp Lejeune: Aplastic anemia claims

As a rare but serious health condition occurring when the bone marrow cannot make enough new blood cells for the body to work normally, aplastic anemia is one of the diseases veterans who spent time at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 can develop. This is because the drinking water at the military base was heavily contaminated with benzene during that period, the main culprit behind aplastic anemia. Frequent benzene exposure has been known for over a century to damage the bone marrow, resulting in decreases in the numbers of circulating blood cells, and ultimately, aplastic anemia. While one or two people in a million develop the condition, aplastic anemia is significantly more common among people with a history of benzene exposure, including veterans. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and now have aplastic anemia, please contact us, as you might be eligible to file a claim and recover financial compensation.

Claim Application

Approximately 1 in 100 veterans exposed to high benzene levels will develop aplastic anemia

As a form of bone marrow failure, aplastic anemia is characterized by a reduction of all cellular elements in the peripheral blood and in bone marrow, leading to fibrosis, which irreversibly replaces the bone marrow. Bone marrow failure occurs when the bone marrow – the soft, spongy tissue inside the bones – no longer produces enough healthy blood cells to keep up with the body's needs. The association between exposure to benzene and bone marrow suppression has been recognized since 1897. Aplastic anemia may develop suddenly or over time, depending on how gradual benzene exposure occurs. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath
  • unexplainable bleeding
  • frequent or severe infections
  • easy bruising
  • skin rashes
  • fatigue
  • pale skin
  • irregular or rapid heartbeat
  • recurrent infections
  • bleeding gums
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • nosebleeds

Benzene was found in a well near the Hadnot Point fuel farm at Camp Lejeune in a concentration of 380 parts per billion. This exceeds the safe exposure limit by a whopping 3,800 times. Frequent or prolonged exposure, which occurred at the military base, can lead to various hematological manifestations, including aplastic anemia. Spills and leakage from underground fuel storage tanks have been considered the main sources of benzene exposure at Camp Lejeune, although the solvent was also lurking in the drinking water. It was also present in the soil due to the improper use and disposal of degreasers containing it by service members after cleaning up weapons and equipment.

According to a study from the European Journal of Haematology, benzene exposure mainly harms the bone marrow via the following mechanisms, eventually resulting in aplastic anemia:

  • metabolism of benzene in the liver
  • transport of metabolites to the marrow and their secondary activation to free radicals
  • induction of apoptosis, DNA damage, and altered differentiation in early progenitor cells
  • depletion of the stem cell pool

Because aplastic anemia can ultimately lead to leukemia or myelodysplasia, it is usually treated by doctors specializing in cancer. Other products containing benzene that might have been used at Camp Lejeune include solvents, paint thinners, degreasers, lubricants, gasoline, and polishes. Therefore, benzene exposure among service members occurred via inhalation, skin absorption, and ingestion, which only worsens the extent of exposure and increases veterans' chances of developing aplastic anemia. Severe chronic benzene exposure at doses higher than 100 ppm is a known cause of aplastic anemia.

Quality legal assistance for veterans who want to file a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim

Since 1990, our attorneys have been dedicating their endeavors to assisting toxic exposure victims to recover the financial compensation they were entitled to, and a large number of our clients are veterans. Therefore, if you developed aplastic anemia as a result of your stay at Camp Lejeune, you have come to the right place. We will efficiently help you determine whether you are eligible to file a claim by carefully assessing your case. All you have to do is send in your military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records.

If we deem you eligible, our legal team will promptly begin working on preparing your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim for submission. Because we understand how challenging and painful struggling with aplastic anemia can be, we will do all in our power to make it easy for you to navigate the legal process by taking care of the most complex aspects of it for you so that you can focus on your health. It is important to know that if you have aplastic anemia but were stationed at other military bases, you might also be entitled to compensation.