Exposure to toxic chemicals on Camp Lejeune, responsible for throat cancer in veterans
Between 1953 and 1987, the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with industrial solvents and PFAS. These harmful chemicals were lurking in two of the eight water plants of the military base. At Hadnot Point, the trichloroethylene level exceeded the safe exposure limit by 280 times, whereas at Tarawa Terrace, the perchloroethylene level eclipsed it by 43 times. As for PFAS, they began polluting the drinking water after 1967, with the maximum level ever measured being 179,348 ppt, which is more than 2,500 times over the safe exposure limit. It was only in 1982 that the U.S. Marine Corps found volatile organic compounds in the water.
A recent study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health assessed 36 patients with esophageal cancer. Most of the participants were men and smokers, but they had also been exposed to solvents on the job. Occupational exposure to solvents was found to have significantly contributed to their throat cancer diagnoses. The other harmful chemicals that were discovered in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune are the following:
- vinyl chloride
- halogenated hydrocarbons
During the 34 years the drinking water was contaminated, as many as one million people lived at Camp Lejeune, most of whom were inevitably exposed to the dangerous substances in the water. This places veterans, family members, and civilians at high risk of developing throat cancer today. If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune and came to struggle with esophageal cancer, our experienced attorneys may be able to help you file a claim under the new Camp Lejeune Justice Act and a VA disability compensation claim if you are a veteran. These are the eligibility requirements for Camp Lejeune toxic exposure victims:
- you must have been discharged from the military honorably if you are a veteran
- you must have spent at least 30 consecutive days between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987, at Camp Lejeune
- you must have a diagnosis of esophageal cancer related to drinking contaminated water
- you must send our legal team your military records, which you must retrieve if you are a veteran, or evidence of your stay at Camp Lejeune if you are a civilian
- you must provide our attorneys with your medical records clearly stating your esophageal cancer diagnosis
It is important to know that the family members of veterans who lived with them at Camp Lejeune and developed throat cancer might also be entitled to compensation. With over 30 years of experience in handling toxic exposure cases, our diligent attorneys will carefully evaluate your case to determine whether you qualify for compensation.
Asbestos exposure increases the risk of developing throat cancer by 40%
Throat cancer was linked to asbestos exposure by the Institute of Medicine panel in 2006. The panel concluded that studies from the past suggest a causal relation between asbestos exposure and laryngeal cancer.
According to a study led by the National Institute of Health, the chances of developing laryngeal cancer increase with the amount of asbestos a person breathes in.
Moreover, people exposed to asbestos have a 40% higher risk of developing laryngeal cancer than those with no asbestos exposure. Individuals working in occupations such as mining, smelting, textile, and construction have a 2 to 3 times greater risk. Finally, people heavily exposed to asbestos were found to have a 157% higher risk of laryngeal cancer.
It is very important to note that smokers who have a history of asbestos exposure and were diagnosed with throat cancer may also be entitled to compensation, as it is typically asbestos that is the culprit behind the disease. The telltale sign that laryngeal or esophageal cancer is the consequence of asbestos exposure is the presence of asbestos fibers along the lining of the larynx or esophagus.
The following are the symptoms of throat cancer, as both laryngeal and esophageal cancer have many in common:
- a painless lump in the neck
- facial pain
- a persistent dry cough
- ear pain
- hearing changes or tinnitus
- nasal congestion or bleeding
- a sore throat that does not go away
During the last century, asbestos exposure occurred between the 1920s and the 1980s on the job and in the military. Some of the occupational groups with a high risk of asbestos exposure were construction workers, textile mill workers, chemical workers, shipyard workers, insulators, electricians, mechanics, power plant workers, welders, and oil refinery workers. Eligible individuals will have their asbestos claims filed with the asbestos trust funds of the companies whose products they were exposed to. Veterans will also have a VA disability compensation claim filed in addition to the one filed with asbestos trust funds.
Misdiagnosis is a frequent occurrence among victims of asbestos exposure, which is why we encourage you to seek a second and even a third opinion from different medical specialists.
Secondary asbestos exposure can also result in throat cancer
Because asbestos companies went to unimaginable lengths to keep the dangers of exposure a secret from employees, industrial workers were not given protective equipment to wear on the job, and they were not required to change their clothes at the end of their shift either.
As a consequence, they would typically come home to their families covered in asbestos dust, which their loved ones would unavoidably inhale. While secondary asbestos exposure implies a lower risk of developing throat cancer, family members can receive this diagnosis, too.
Secondary asbestos exposure would occur when the wives of asbestos workers would shake out their clothes laden with asbestos dust before laundering them, when children would greet and hug their fathers upon returning home, and when asbestos fibers became embedded in furniture such as armchairs and couches. If you lived under the same roof as a former asbestos worker and suffer from laryngeal cancer or esophageal cancer, you should contact our attorneys, as you may also be eligible to file a claim with asbestos trust funds.
Recovering compensation for toxic exposure victims as surviving family members
Not rare are the cases when a toxic exposure victim struggling with a debilitating illness such as throat cancer refuses to seek financial compensation, either out of fear of a long, complex legal process or because they are in too much physical and emotional pain to navigate the legal process. Consequently, many toxic exposure victims pass away without having benefited from the money they would have deserved for their unjust suffering. However, in the regrettable situation that you lost a family member who had throat cancer due to toxic exposure and had not filed a claim, you can step in and obtain compensation on their behalf.
Our attorneys will assess your case to determine whether you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim for toxic exposure. If you are, they will start preparing the necessary documents for your claim. You will only need to send our legal team the employment or military records of your deceased family member, which you must retrieve, their medical records, and their death certificate. The rest will be efficiently taken care of by our skilled attorneys. Eventually, if our endeavors are successful, you may obtain a part of the compensation your loved one would have been eligible for.