Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Symptoms of Camp Lejeune Water Contamination
gabriel levin Attorney
Gabriel Levin | Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Attorney

Approximately one million people have been exposed to the toxic water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. And many of those affected have dealt with or are currently dealing with debilitating trauma and severe health issues that have forever impacted their lives. Worse yet, researchers still do not know exactly how exposure to this contamination will affect people’s health in the future.

However, while we cannot provide you with all the answers you need regarding these future health complications, we can offer you some clarification regarding the current conditions and symptoms associated with this contaminated water. We can also go over Camp Lejeune’s water contamination history and discuss in detail how a Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Contamination Lawyer can help you fight for the justice and financial damages you deserve if you or a loved one suffered from this exposure.

Camp Lejeune Symptoms Guide

The History of Camp Lejeune’s Water Contamination

From August 1953 through December 1987, the water at Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base located near Jacksonville, North Carolina, was polluted with dangerous chemicals, including tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), trichloroethylene (TCE), and benzene because of the improper waste disposal of chemicals by workers at an off-base dry cleaning company, leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, and waste disposal sites.

Consequently, countless service members, their loved ones, and others who lived and worked at the base were exposed to this toxic water and suffered numerous illnesses as a result.

The Toxic Chemicals in the Water at Camp Lejeune

It was discovered that there were over 70 toxic chemicals in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, including the following:


Tetrachloroethylene is a nonflammable, colorless liquid used for cleaning fabrics and metal parts. This toxin can be released in water, air, and soil, primarily in places where it is used or produced.

Once exposed to it, tetrachloroethylene can enter the bloodstream and other organs. Yet, while most of the tetrachloroethylene will be broken down and leave your body through urine if you are exposed to this chemical repeatedly, it can build up over time and lead to adverse effects on the body.

Consequently, if you are exposed to this chemical for an extended period of time, you are at a higher risk of developing certain kinds of cancer, including bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. In addition, individuals can also develop problems with their nervous system, kidneys, liver, and reproductive system.

Some of the more common symptoms associated with exposure to tetrachloroethylene include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Incoordination or unconsciousness
  • Changes in mood, attention, reaction time, vision, or memory

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is a gas that does not occur naturally. Instead, this chemical is used to make PVC, which is used in various plastics, including wires, cable coatings, medical devices, and pipes.

camp lejeune water contamination lawsuit

People are typically exposed to vinyl chloride through inhalation. However, if the water supply is contaminated with this toxin, it can enter the house when the water is used for cleaning, cooking, or other uses such as laundry.

Those exposed to this gas are often at a higher risk of developing liver cancer, brain cancer, lung cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma.

Yet, while symptoms of exposure to vinyl chloride can vary, some of the more common signs include:

  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Lung irritation
  • Trouble breathing
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach bleeding
  • Irregular heartbeat


Benzene is a colorless chemical that turns into a light-yellow liquid when exposed to room temperature. This chemical is predominately used as a solvent in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and is often found in detergents, pesticides, and rubber materials. People can be exposed to benzene through the air, or it can spread through smelling glues, cleaning products, paint strippers, adhesives, and drinking water.

Exposure to this chemical increases the risk of developing blood disorders such as leukemia.

Some of the more common signs of benzene exposure include:

  • Drowsiness or dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death


Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a chemical used to make refrigerants or act as a metal degreaser. It is also used in carpet cleaners, spot removers, and other cleaning products.

Trichloroethylene can be found in the water, air, and soil at places where it is used or produced. Additionally, because it breaks down slowly, it can remain in these areas for a significant period of time. As a result, the public can be exposed to this chemical by inhaling it, drinking it, or eating foods that have been processed or cleaned by water tainted with it.

Prolonged exposure to TCE can lead to kidney cancer, and some studies suggest it is also associated with an increased risk of liver cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Symptoms to watch out for when it comes to trichloroethylene exposure include:

  • Irritation to the eyes and skin
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Headaches
  • Liver damage
  • Nausea
  • Death

Eight Presumptive Illnesses Linked To Camp Lejeune’s Toxic Water

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination SymptomsAccording to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act,if a person spent at least 30 days at Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 and was diagnosed with one of the following conditions, it is assumed that the toxic water at the base caused the condition, and those affected can obtain benefits without needing to prove this correlation.

These presumptive diseases include:

Parkinson’s Disease

This disease is a progressive disorder that mainly affects the parts of the body controlled by nerves and the nervous system. In the early onset of Parkinson’s, your arms may not swing when you walk, or your speech may become slurred. As the disease progresses, the symptoms may get worse. 

Other Parkinson’s signs and symptoms include:

  • Tremor’s
  • Slowed movement
  • Rigid muscles
  • Speech changes
  • Writing changes
  • Loss of automatic movements

Liver Cancer

This type of cancer begins in the cells of your liver.

While most people do not have signs of liver cancer in the early stages, when symptoms do occur, they frequently include:

  • A loss of appetite
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • General weakness
  • Yellow discoloration of the skin
  • White, chalky stools

Adult Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer of one of the body’s blood-forming tissues, including the lymphatic system and bone marrow.

Symptoms of this disease will usually depend on the type of leukemia.

However, some of the more common signs of the disease include:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe infections
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Bleeding easily
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Bone pain

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a cancer that starts in the bladder cells.

Symptoms of this disease include:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Back pain
  • Painful urination

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer develops when kidney cells change and grow out of control.

Some of the more common signs associated with this type of cancer include:

  • Pain in the back
  • Pain in the side
  • A loss of appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood in urine
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that forms in the white blood cells. When individuals have this type of cancer, the cancerous cells accumulate in the bone marrow and overcrowd the healthy blood cells. Over time, these cancer cells produce abnormal proteins, leading to numerous complications.

While there may not be any signs of this disease early on, over time, symptoms can include:

  • Bone pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Mental confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mental fogginess
  • Confusion
  • Frequent infections
  • Excessive thirst
  • Numbness in the legs

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that starts in the lymphatic system, which is a part of the body’s immune system. When an individual has this type of cancer, the lymphocytes grow abnormally and can form growths or tumors throughout the body.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Belly pain
  • Chest pain
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Persistent fatigue

Aplastic Anemia and Other Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndromes may be rare, but these syndromes are serious and affect your blood and bone marrow. Or more specifically, these syndromes prevent your bone marrow from producing enough healthy blood cells, which can lead to life-threatening problems.

While the symptoms of these syndromes will vary from one person to another, depending on which type of blood cells are affected, some of the more common signs of this condition include:

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Excessive bruising
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath when being active
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

Although having one of these presumptive health conditions means you will not have to show that the disease resulted from your exposure to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, you will still need to show that you were stationed at the base during the period indicated in the Act to obtain disability benefits.

Other Diseases Linked to the Toxic Water at Camp Lejeune

In addition to the above eight presumptive diseases, the Act also outlines other conditions that may be connected with the toxic water at Camp Lejeune. Yet, while these conditions do not qualify for presumptive disability compensation, people who have one of these conditions should still pursue a Camp Lejeune legal case because of the strong link associated between these diseases and the contaminated water found at Camp Lejeune.

These other conditions include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Female infertility and miscarriage
  • Neurobehavioral effects

However, if you want to verify whether your condition qualifies for benefits under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, you should discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. These lawyers can ascertain not only whether you have a viable claim, but they can also help you prepare the most convincing legal case on your behalf and go after the total financial damages you need, and discuss how long the Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit takes.

Factors That Can Affect Your Symptoms

Unfortunately, it is not only the chemicals you were exposed to or the condition you developed that can impact the type of symptoms you must endure.

In truth, there are a number of other factors that can also affect the severity of these symptoms, their nature, and their duration, including:

  • The length of time you were exposed to these chemicals
  • How often were you exposed to these toxic chemicals
  • The ways you were exposed to these chemicals (drinking the water, inhaling the toxic chemicals, or through skin absorption)

As a result, those exposed to these chemicals for years and on a continuous basis may have developed more noticeable signs of this exposure. However, it is possible that even if you did not suffer immediate symptoms, you may have still developed a deadly condition because of your exposure.

For these reasons, if you were subjected to this toxic water and have suffered an illness or other devastating condition, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney today to review your claim and determine your legal options.

If You Suffered Because of the Water Contamination at Camp Lejeune, Fight for the Justice You Deserve

If you or a family member suffered any of the conditions indicated above or passed away from these tragic diseases after being exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, now is the time to act and go after the justice and financial damages you and your family deserve.

Thankfully, with an experienced personal injury attorney, you will not have to take on this challenging legal battle by yourself. Rather, these skilled legal professionals can handle this fight for you.

Once retained, these lawyers can:

  • Review the facts of what happened to you and your diagnosis, go over the time you spent at Camp Lejeune, and determine whether you can pursue a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.
  • Prepare the strongest legal case on your behalf.
  • Gather the evidence needed to substantiate your claim.
  • Hire experts to establish the connection between the toxic water and your disease or condition.
  • Fight for the maximum monetary damages you are entitled to.

That is why you should not wait any longer to explore your rights and options regarding a Camp Lejeune lawsuit. Instead, contact a personal injury attorney today for a free case evaluation, and find out how a legal team can help you.

Gabriel Levin Author Image

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.

Learn More