Multiple Myeloma And Camp Lejeune Contamination
Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps Base in North Carolina, was contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals for more than 30 years in the water supply that was used by millions for decades. Public health studies have shown that this contamination has increased cases of multiple myeloma, a deadly blood cancer.
Are you or someone you know affected by the Camp Lejeune contamination? The personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are legal advocates for service members, families, and others affected by water contamination at Camp Lejeune.
Contact us for additional information. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
The Dangerous Correlation Between Contaminated Water and Multiple Myeloma
Did you know there is a possible relationship between Camp Lejeune water contamination and multiple myeloma? If not, you are not alone. Many people are unaware of this potential connection, primarily because the US government has done little to inform affected veterans and their families about it.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has only recently begun to acknowledge the evidence of the possible link between the two, and even then, it has been a very low priority. This failure to communicate with veterans needs to change.
We owe it to our veterans and their families to do better by them. Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune may be responsible for up to 15% of all multiple myeloma cases in the United States.
The Life-Threatening History of Camp Lejeune’s Contaminated Water Supply
The Camp Lejeune water supply had several different chemical toxins, but vinyl chloride was the most harmful. This chemical is known to cause cancer, and it’s thought that it caused many cases of multiple myeloma at the military base.
The Marine Corps Air Station first opened in 1941, providing military services for the federal government at one of the large bases on the eastern seaboard. The base was home to many units, including the 2nd Marine Division and the 6th Marine Regiment.
But it wasn’t until 1957 that the base became known as Camp Lejeune. In 1958, the United States Navy began using Camp Lejeune as a training ground for Marines. The base was used for many different exercises, including nuclear warfare training.
In 1953, the first cases of multiple myeloma associated with the base were diagnosed. More than 1,000 cases of multiple myeloma have been diagnosed in people who have lived or worked at the military base.
The Camp Lejeune water supply was contaminated with dangerous chemicals for more than 30 years, from the 1950s until the 1980s. It is thought that this contamination caused many cases of multiple myeloma at the base.
The contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune was finally discovered in 1985 after the federal government hired Granger Inc. to perform comprehensive water supply testing for contaminants. But it took until 1987 for the Marines to notify the public about the contamination.
The initial test results were shocking, revealing that the Camp Lejeune water was contaminated with more than 400 different chemical toxins, including TCE (trichloroethylene), PCE (perchloroethylene), and benzene.
What is Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma (plasma cell myeloma)is a type of cancer that starts in plasma cells, the white blood cells that make antibodies. The condition gets its name because it often leads to multiple tumors in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones where blood cells are made.
Multiple myeloma is relatively rare, accounting for about 1% of all cancers and 2% of all blood cancers. The average age at diagnosis is 67, and the condition is slightly more common in men than women.
What is the Link Between Multiple Myeloma and Camp Lejeune?
The link between multiple myeloma and Camp Lejeune is still being investigated. Still, there is growing evidence that exposure to contaminated drinking water at the Marine base may be a risk factor for developing the disease for veterans and their families.
In 2012, a study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) found that people exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune were more likely to develop plasma cell myeloma that accumulates in the bone marrow than those who had not.
In 2016, a study by the National Academy of Sciences found that people exposed to vinyl chloride, a chemical used at the military base, increased risk of developing multiple myeloma.
These studies suggest that there may be a link between exposure to contaminated Camp Lejeune water and the development of plasma cell myeloma. However, more research is needed to confirm this link.
What Are the Symptoms of Multiple Myeloma?
Multiple myeloma can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on how it affects the body. Some common symptoms include:
- Weak bones that break easily
- Bone pain
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
- Kidney problems
- Weight loss
If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor so that they can rule out other conditions and determine if you have multiple myeloma.
How is Multiple Myeloma Treated?
There is no cure for multiple myeloma, but there are treatments that can help to control the disease and relieve symptoms. Some common treatments include:
- Radiation therapy
- Stem cell transplant
- Targeted therapy
Your doctor will work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you, based on the type and severity of your condition.
List of Medical Conditions and Cancers Associated with Contaminated Water
For years, the victims have been fighting for the government to recognize the medical conditions they developed due to the contact.
Congress passed two federal acts to help veterans affected by the contamination at Camp Lejeune. The Camp Lejeune Contamination Act (Camp Lejeune Act) provides health care and compensation for those with a service connection who were exposed to water contamination.
The PACT (Personal Assistance Clean-up Trust) Act provides financial assistance for cleanup costs. Both Acts are crucial steps in providing some relief for those affected by this tragedy. The new law supersedes the existing North Carolina law that restricts filing a claim for cancers and diseases caused by exposure to toxins.
The following conditions and cancers qualifying for disability benefits include:
- Adult leukemia
- Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
- Breast cancer
- Brain cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Cardiac defect
- Esophageal cancer
- Female infertility
- Heart defect
- Hepatic steatosis
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancers
- Liver diseases
- Lung cancer
- Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)
- Ovarian cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Plasma cell myeloma
- Prostate cancer
- Rectal, colorectal/colon cancers
- Renal toxicity
What Are the Disability Benefits Available For Multiple Myeloma?
You may be eligible for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you have multiple or plasma cell myeloma. To qualify, you must be unable to work due to your condition.
The Veterans Administration recognizes multiple or plasma cell myeloma as a presumptive condition. As a result, the government presumes that the water contamination at Camp Lejeune caused the condition.
However, to qualify for benefits, a veteran must have a service connection to the base and provide medical evidence of their diagnosis and information about how the condition affects their ability to work. The evidence might include being a veteran or family member of a service member.
Evidence can include information from medical records, treatment history, and doctor’s statements to support the government’s acceptance of the presumptive condition.
If approved for benefits, the person may receive either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI provides monetary benefits to people who have previously worked and paid into the Social Security system. SSI provides benefits to people who have limited income and resources.
Family members of a veteran who lost a loved one due to exposure to water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina can file a claim seeking disability compensation for damages. These disability benefits might include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost military benefits
- Hospitalization costs
- Non-economic damages including pain and suffering experienced by the family members
Hire A Personal Injury Attorney to Resolve Your Multiple Myeloma Claim for Disability Compensation
Do you suspect that contaminated drinking water led to your current diagnosis, and you suffer common disease symptoms, including bone problems or a low count of your red and white blood cells?
Are you a veteran who was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune? The personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team can work on your behalf to ensure you receive the disability compensation you deserve.
Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation. We accept all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until we resolve your case for a negotiated settlement or jury award.
All sensitive or confidential information you share concerning your injuries remains private through an attorney-client relationship.