Camp Lejeune’s ground water has been the subject of intense debate the last couple of years. The toxic and hazardous chemicals in the base’s drinking water likely caused mass contamination. Tens to hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their family members were exposed to the contaminated water, which has been linked to causing serious diseases in some soldiers, including various, rare cancers.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) recently issued a new report on camp Lejeune’s drinking water. Validating earlier suspicions, the report confirmed the unfortunate and considerable presence of the following in Lejeune’s ground water:
- PCE (tetrachloroethylene);
- TCE (trichloroethylene); and
- Vinyl chloride.
Of course, this latest news won’t surprise many of the families that have passed through Camp Lejeune through the years. However, according to US Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), this report, the first in a series on Lejeune’s water, is significant in making sure those affected families are given the answers they deserve.
A 1997 ATSDR report indicated there was little to no cancer risk for those people exposed to the contaminated water. ATSDR, however, came out last year and refused to continue to stand behind those results as that report was not only replete with inaccuracies, but completely ignored the presence of benzene in the water supply.
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Hagan both supported an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill requiring the Navy to help the ATSDR with their continuing series of reports. While the Senate must still vote on the bill, families wait for the next report.
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