Exposure to benzene can greatly increase the risk of developing Hodgkin's lymphoma
In Hodgkin's lymphoma, there is a genetic mutation that occurs in a white blood cell known as a lymphocyte, whose purpose is to fight infections and diseases.
Subsequently, this mutation causes too many ineffective lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and results in the swelling of the lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. Every year, over 8,800 people receive a diagnosis of Hodgkin's lymphoma nationwide.
The most common symptoms of this malignant disease include the following:
- swelling of the lymph nodes
- night sweats
- unexplained weight loss
- severe itching
- difficulty breathing
- a persistent cough
- recurrent infections
The main source of PFAS in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune is the use of the fire suppressant AFFF by military firefighters. This fire suppressant, while very effective in putting out jet fuel and petroleum fires, is very dangerous, as once PFAS are released into the environment, they persist, hence their nickname "forever chemicals." The PFAS concentration in the drinking water at the military base was 179,348 ppt, which exceeds the safe exposure limit by over 2,500 times.
A study from the medical journal Epidemiology also found exposure to solvents to contribute to the development of Hodgkin's lymphoma. The researchers observed a significantly higher risk of the disease among people regularly exposed to benzene, toluene, and xylene. Benzene was lurking on Camp Lejeune during the last century due to multiple sources of contamination, including leaking underground storage tanks and waste disposal sites.