Adult Leukemia From Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Adult Leukemia From Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune

Leukemia is a blood cancer that involves the lymphatic system and bone marrow. Some types of leukemia are childhood, and some are adult leukemia. It is the adult leukemia that the Camp Lejeune water contamination causes. When you have adult leukemia, your body grows too many white blood cells that do not function properly. Treatment varies based on the type of leukemia you have and the individual. Learn more about personal injury claims and leukemia symptoms from our a Camp Lejeune injury lawyers.

Leukemia Symptoms

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Gabriel Levin | Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney

Your leukemia symptoms will vary depending on the type of leukemia you have.

However, the disease has common symptoms, including:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Weakness.
  • Fatigue.
  • Weight loss.
  • Enlarged spleen or liver.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • You bruise and/or bleed easily.
  • Petechiae (small red spots on your skin).
  • Recurring nosebleeds.
  • Bone pain.
  • Excessive sweating.

Leukemia symptoms often mimic the symptoms of other illnesses, such as the flu, and are often vague. If a doctor has not diagnosed you and you have one or more of these symptoms, especially if you lived at Camp Lejeune, you should have doctors test you.

The Connection Between Adult Leukemia and Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water

Anyone who lived at Camp Lejeune from 1953 through 1987 could have leukemia and/or several other diseases, illnesses, or conditions because of contaminated water. Researchers found that at least two of the wells that serviced Camp Lejeune contained several carcinogenic chemicals.

Whether you drank the water, showered in it, or were exposed to the chemicals in the air, you could develop leukemia and other diseases and illnesses. Some people may develop more than one illness or condition. Others may have died from an illness because of the water contamination.

If you lived at Camp Lejeune for more than 30 days, you might recover compensation for expenses related to these conditions. Researchers are continuing to look into other conditions that might be related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.


This colorless, non-flammable liquid has a sweet odor. Mechanics commonly use it to remove grease from metal parts. Manufacturers also use it to make other chemicals, such as HFC-134a, the refrigerant in most vehicle air conditioning systems.

When you release trichloroethylene into the air, the chemical breaks down rather quickly. However, if you release it into the soil or water, it breaks down slowly. It does not evaporate, so it stays in soil and groundwater for a long time and can contaminate drinking water.

Trichloroethylene exposure happens through breathing contaminated air or drinking contaminated water.

If you sustained exposure to this chemical, you could suffer from:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Sleepiness.
  • Coma or death.
  • Liver damages.
  • Heart damages.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Scleroderma.
  • Decreases in sperm quality, sex drive, and hormone levels.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Malignant lymphoma.


This colorless, non-flammable liquid, also known as PCE, has an odor to it, so you can smell it if someone releases it into the air. Dry cleaners use tetrachloroethene, and manufacturers use it as a “starting material” for making other chemicals.

This chemical breaks down slowly in the air, so it can travel for long distances from where someone originally released it. It is very slow to break down in deeper water, as you would find in a well.

If you breathe in high levels of PCE, you might become dizzy, develop a headache and/or incoordination, or cause drowsiness. Exposure could cause mood changes and affect your vision, reaction time, and attention.

Exposure could cause multiple myeloma, bladder cancer, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, leukemia, other blood cancers, and liver and/or kidney cancer.

Vinyl Chloride

If you breathe high levels of vinyl chloride, you might become dizzy, sleepy, or even lose consciousness. If the levels are really high, breathing it could cause death. This chemical is a colorless gas that burns easily and has a sweet odor. Manufacturers use it to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which they then use to make a variety of plastic products, including pipe and packaging materials.

In its liquid form, vinyl chloride evaporates easily as long as it is near the surface of the water or soil. If released into the air, it breaks down within a few days. The chemicals it forms when it breaks down are also harmful. Small amounts of vinyl chloride can dissolve in water.

You can suffer exposure by breathing vinyl chloride in the air or drinking it from a contaminated well.

Vinyl chloride can cause:

  • Nerve damages.
  • Immune reactions.
  • Liver damage.
  • Problems with blood flow.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Brain cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Leukemia and other blood cancers.


This colorless liquid smells sweet and quickly evaporates into the air. It dissolves a bit in water and is highly flammable. Manufacturers use benzene to make plastics, nylon, resins, and other synthetic fibers. You can also find it in drugs, detergents, lubricants, pesticides, and dyes. Benzene is also found naturally in gasoline, crude oil, and cigarette smoke.

Benzene takes a couple of days to break down when you release it into the air. It takes longer to break down if released in soil or water. You can suffer exposure by breathing glues, furniture wax, paints, vehicle exhaust, and by breathing the air at waste sites.

Breathing benzene or drinking water contaminated with it can cause:

  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Vomiting.
  • Stomach irritation.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Death.
  • Anemia.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Irregular menstrual periods.
  • Ovary size decrease.
  • Myelogenous leukemia.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Legislation

Under normal circumstances, you cannot sue the military or government because of injuries and illnesses you sustained during your service. However, Congress passed legislation in 2012 that named several diseases, illnesses, and conditions that researchers found related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012

Congress passed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012. This act mandates that veterans and their families should receive medical care if they suffered illnesses, diseases, or certain conditions related to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

Once the President signed the Camp Lejeune Families Act into law, the VA listed eight of the several illnesses and diseases in the Act on its presumptive list for service-connected benefits. The VA will only pay for medical expenses for the other illnesses and diseases named in the Camp Lejeune Families Act but will not provide disability payments.

The illnesses, disabilities, and conditions listed in the Camp Lejeune Families Act include:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Esophageal cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Leukemia.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Renal toxicity.
  • Hepatic steatosis.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Female infertility.
  • Neurobehavioral effects.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Scleroderma.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022

Congress also passed another act, the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, in 2022 that allows those who suffer from any of the conditions listed in the Camp Lejeune Families Act to file a lawsuit to recover compensation.

If you filed a claim with the VA, you could still file a lawsuit without jeopardizing your VA claim. However, if the VA grants your claim and pays medical expenses, it will offset the compensation you will receive from the lawsuit and vice versa.

The lawsuit allows those who cannot recover disability payments to recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages caused by illnesses, diseases, and conditions from being exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act also allows those who had cancer and recovered or those who lost a loved one because of one of the conditions, diseases, and illnesses to recover compensation. If you are unsure as to whether you can recover compensation for an illness you might have recovered from, contact a Camp Lejeune water contamination attorney for a free case evaluation.

Filing a Claim and a Lawsuit

You can file a VA claim and a lawsuit to recover compensation for illnesses, diseases, and conditions caused by Camp Lejeune water contamination.

While researchers believe that the Camp Lejeune water contamination causes many illnesses, the VA has only listed eight on their presumptive list for service connection, including:

  • Adult leukemia.
  • Bladder cancer.
  • Aplastic anemia and certain myelodysplastic syndromes.
  • Kidney cancer.
  • Liver cancer.
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • Parkinson’s disease.

If you can show you stayed on the base anytime between 1953 and 1987 and you have one of the above-listed diseases or conditions, you could collect disability, and the VA will pay your medical expenses.

For other conditions, diseases, and illnesses that might be related to the Camp Lejeune water contamination, the VA will pay for medical expenses but not disability.

If you suffered from or still have one of the other conditions, diseases, or illnesses that are not service-connected, you can file a lawsuit with the Navy JAG office to recover compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of consortium, and/or companionship, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity.

Filing a VA Claim

You can log into your VA account to file a claim for disability and medical expenses. However, the process is complex. You will need to provide proof of your time at Camp Lejeune and your medical records. A veteran service officer or your regional VA office can help you file.

You will need a copy of your DD-214 or other release documents to prove you were at Camp Lejeune. You will also need all medical records pertaining to your illness, whether you received treatment at the VA or an outside doctor.

If you file online, you will be able to upload documents. If you use a veteran service officer or the regional VA office, you’ll need to bring copies of your records with you.

Recovering Damages When Filing a Claim

The only damages you will recover when filing a claim with the VA are monthly disability payments based on a percentage. If you meet a certain percentage, the VA pays for all of your medical care.

The VA will assign a disability percentage for your injury, condition, or disability. That is the amount you will collect every month. The VA assigns a percentage based on the severity of your condition. If you have more than one service-connected illness, it starts with the most severe. It cuts each additional rating by about half, then adds it to the first rating, then rounds the number up or down to the nearest 10 percent.

Thus, if you have four issues at 60 percent, 30 percent, 50 percent, and 10 percent, your rating will be 60 + 15 + 25 + 5 = 105 or 100 percent. Another example is 40 percent, 20 percent, and 10 percent (three different conditions). Your rating would be 40 + 10 + 5 = 55 or 60 percent.

To get a more accurate picture of the compensation, you and your camp Lejeune lawyer can review the combined ratings chart.

Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

When you file a Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit, you should use an experienced attorney. You have just two years from the date of the legislation to file your claim. You must file the claim with the Navy JAG office in Virginia, regardless of where you live.

Your Camp Lejeune water contamination lawyer will ensure that you go through the administrative claim first, then file the lawsuit, as required by the Camp Lejeune Justice Act that Congress just passed. The process is a complex process, and a water contamination attorney can help you through the process to ensure you have all the documentation required and that you do not miss any deadlines.

Recovering Damages When Filing a Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

When filing a lawsuit to recover compensation because of an illness, disease, or condition the contaminated water caused, you could recover compensation for:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Lost wages.
  • Loss of future earning capacity.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Loss of quality of life.
  • Loss of companionship and/or consortium.

If the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune left you ill, contact a Camp Lejeune contaminated water attorney for a free case evaluation as soon as possible.

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Gabriel Levin - Attorney

Gabriel Levin is a highly experienced and credible attorney with over 10 years of practice in Pennsylvania. Known for his tenacity, he has represented clients in a wide range of civil matters, trying hundreds of cases. He prepares each case as if it will go to trial, ensuring meticulous attention to detail.

Unlike many firms that delegate tasks, Levin personally handles every aspect of a case and maintains open communication with clients throughout. He has secured millions in compensation, making him a reliable choice for those seeking legal representation.

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