Exposure to volatile organic compounds on military bases, strongly associated with esophageal cancer
During the last century, the environment of over 700 military bases across the country was severely contaminated with volatile organic compounds, which stem from the use of industrial solvents. A study from the medical journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that exposure to volatile sulfur compounds, lead, and solvents has a connection with a high risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma, a subtype of esophageal cancer that starts in the mucus-secreting glands of the organ.
The following solvents have been associated with esophageal cancer, most of which were polluting military bases:
- vinyl chloride
- ethylene glycol
- methylene chloride
Furthermore, PFAS, a group of over 5,000 different chemicals, also lurked on military bases and can lead to the development of esophageal cancer. PFOS and PFOA, the most researched chemicals from this group, have the strongest link to esophageal cancer. According to a study from Environmental Health Insights, the residents of Merrimack, New Hampshire who had been exposed to PFAS have a considerably increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, among other malignant diseases. On military bases, the source of these chemicals was the use of the fire suppressant AFFF, which sometimes contains up to 98% PFAS.
If you were stationed, lived, or worked at Camp Lejeune and came to suffer from esophageal cancer, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the new legislation known as the Camp Lejeune Justice Act and to disability compensation from the VA if you are a veteran. These are the eligibility criteria you must meet to file a claim:
- as a veteran, you must have been discharged from the military other than dishonorably
- you must have drunk contaminated water on the military base
- you must have spent at least 30 consecutive days at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987
- you must have a diagnosis of esophageal cancer related to water contamination
To determine whether you qualify for filing a Camp Lejeune toxic water claim, our experienced attorneys will have to carefully review your employment or military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records. If you lived at the military base as a family member of a veteran or as a civilian, we will ask you to send in evidence of your stay at Camp Lejeune in addition to your medical records. Lastly, it is important to note that women who spent time at the military base while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation might also be eligible for compensation.