Camp Lejeune: Scleroderma claims

Scleroderma refers to a group of rare diseases involving skin hardening and tightening. This health condition occurs when there is overproduction and accumulation of collagen in body tissues. Toxic exposure is one of the risk factors for scleroderma and veterans who spent time at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 may develop it, as the drinking water on the military base was heavily contaminated with solvents, including vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene. These industrial solvents have a significant association with scleroderma. Approximately 100,000 people have scleroderma nationwide, which makes it a rare disease. If you are a veteran who spent at least one month at Camp Lejeune while the drinking water was contaminated and now suffer from scleroderma, please contact our law firm, as you might be entitled to financial compensation. Our skilled attorneys will quickly evaluate your case.

Claim Application

Exposure to at least 10 solvents is associated with a high scleroderma risk among Camp Lejeune veterans


As a rare autoimmune connective tissue disorder, scleroderma is the most fatal of all rheumatologic diseases.

It develops when the immune system attacks the connective tissue under the skin and around internal organs and the blood vessels, which results in scarring and thickening of the skin in those areas.

Usually, the most affected organs in scleroderma are the lungs and kidneys. The complications of scleroderma include:

  • loss of blood flow to the fingers
  • high blood pressure in the lungs
  • kidney failure
  • scar tissue in the lungs
  • muscle inflammation
  • infection

There is currently no known cure for scleroderma, and the condition typically develops mostly in women between the ages of 30 and 50. It is worthy of note that scleroderma may not be visible to the naked eye. However, when toxic exposure is at play, the disease may develop in men, too, and at younger ages. Scleroderma can be triggered by numerous toxic chemicals, such as solvents, which were lurking in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune during the last century.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that exposure to paint thinners such as toluene, acetone, and xylene was associated with scleroderma in women. These chemicals might have also been present in the environment of Camp Lejeune. Other toxic chemicals associated with scleroderma that might have lurked at the military are:

  • methane
  • dieseline
  • heptane
  • toluidine
  • vinyl chloride
  • xylidene

A study from the Journal of Occupational Medicine presents the case of a 47-year-old woman who was exposed to trichloroethylene over a period of 2.5 hours. During the next few days, she developed fatigue and a pruritic macular rash over the exposed areas. Four months later, she experienced fatigue, muscle pain, joint stiffness, and skin tightness in her hands. Within the next five months, she developed increased skin tightness and systemic involvement in her esophagus, kidneys, and lungs. Ten months after her initial exposure to trichloroethylene, she died of pulmonary failure.

Another study from the medical journal Arthritis & Rheumatology observed 178 scleroderma patients and 200 individuals without the disease. The researchers discovered that, among men, those with scleroderma were more likely than controls to have a high cumulative intensity score and a high maximum intensity score for any solvent exposure. They were also more likely than controls to have a high maximum intensity score for trichloroethylene exposure. Consequently, solvent exposure, particularly to trichloroethylene, might have a significant connection with scleroderma.

Finally, a study from Arthritis Research & Therapy presents the case of another woman who was chronically exposed to trichloroethylene in the workplace. Following three years of exposure, she developed Raynaud's phenomenon, acrosclerosis, and joint symptoms. This progressed to esophageal involvement after seven years of exposure and, ultimately, to cardiac and renal involvement after 13 years. Another case was that of a 26-year-old woman occupationally exposed to a variety of solvent vapors for one year, including:

  • trichloroethylene
  • acetone
  • perchloroethylene
  • benzene
  • isopropyl alcohol
  • dimethyl phthalate
  • methoxyethanol
  • polyethylene glycol
  • polyvinyl alcohol
  • polyvinyl acetate
  • xylene
  • phenol

She developed morphea on her arms and ankles, a condition that causes painless, discolored patches on the skin, which is part of scleroderma. This resolved after one year of treatment. A 45-year-old man exposed to 10 to 25 parts per million perchloroethylene in the workplace for a period of one year also developed morphea, according to the researchers in this study. Consequently, exposure to the solvents in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune is likely to cause scleroderma in veterans. The more time they spent at the military base, the more prone to developing the disease they are.

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

Since 1990, we have been pursuing compensation on behalf of toxic exposure victims, and many of our clients are veterans. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and developed scleroderma, we strongly encourage you to get in touch with our experienced attorneys, as you might be eligible to file a claim. Veterans who want to initiate the legal process must retrieve their military records and their medical records and send these documents to our resourceful attorneys.

Following a thorough review of your case, we will decide whether you qualify for compensation, and if you do, our legal team will promptly begin preparing your Camp Lejeune toxic water claim for submission. We will go to great lengths to obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. If you were stationed at other military bases and came to struggle with scleroderma, with might be able to help you, too. It is also important to know that we work on a contingency fee basis.