What Chemicals Made the Camp Lejeune Water Toxic?

Toxic chemicals flowed through the water at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987. The contaminated water came to light in 1982, but until this point, legal options were not available. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry sites volatile organic compounds as the main toxins in the water from two water treatment plants. Several other toxins were present, but VOCs were overwhelming at both water treatment plants: Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant and Hadnot Point Treatment Plant.

Soldiers, their families, and others drank and used the toxic water for three decades. The use of water has led to severe health conditions. If you suffered a medical condition due to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you could file a compensation claim. You must move fast and contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney to file a claim.


While there were over 70 chemicals in the toxic water, a few have been pinpointed to specific sources such as PCE to the Tarawa Terrace Treatment Plant. Depending on the amount of toxic water you ingest, and what the toxin is, you are at a higher risk of certain conditions. PCE is a chemical used for a range of reasons, such as:

  • Degreasing
  • Dry-cleaning
  • Making paint
  • To make other chemicals

The chemical can has a variety of uses, and it causes bladder cancer and other severe health defects.


The primary use of TCE is as a degreaser for machinery. This chemical leads to health conditions such as:

  • Cardiac effects
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer

There is a range of cancers this chemical can result in. If you were exposed to this chemical and have any of the health conditions listed here, you must seek compensation with a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney in Philadelphia.

Vinyl chloride

In addition to chemicals in the water, there were also glasses like vinyl chloride. The chemical is crucial in producing PVC pipes and household aerosols. It is linked to a variety of cancers—specifically liver cancer.


Government agencies found the Hadnot Point water treatment plant to have mercury in the pipes in 2012. While this incident is not in the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you still have options if you ingested mercury during the years listed within the act. Some side effects of mercury ingestion are:

  • Vision issues
  • Sore throat
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • High blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting


The only thing we can say about Benzene is that it is reserved for chemical operations. The chemical causes these health conditions:

  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma

Effects of these toxic chemicals

At least one million people drank the water and have been affected by it. Children who were at the base and those born to mothers who consumed the toxic water had higher rates of childhood diseases and birth injuries such as:

  • Lymphoma
  • Leukemia
  • Neural tube defects

Adults are at risk for:

  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • ALS
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Renal toxicity
  • Higher chance of miscarriage

There were over 70 hazardous chemicals on the base, making it difficult to pinpoint just one or a handful of conditions. There are many other medical conditions that residents and workers of the base can suffer, including death. Different people will suffer different medical conditions, and it is vital to have medical assessments to determine the cause of your ailments.

Call a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney immediately

While the Veterans Administration offers disability benefits to veterans on base at the time, family members and others cannot file for disability benefits through the VA. Veterans who have filed for disability benefits through the Veterans Administration can still file a claim through the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022, barring specific requirements. If you or a loved one were on base for 30 days between 1953 and 1987, you might be entitled to compensation. You must call a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney in Philadelphia immediately. Kwartler Manus, LLC is standing by to help get you the compensation you deserve; contact us today at (267) 457-5570.

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