Marine Base’s Water Contamination That Caused Male and Female Breast Cancer and Leukemia Goes Back to at least 1953

President Barack Obama signed a law last year granting health care and screening to Marines and their dependents on the Camp Lejeune marine base between 1957 and 1987.  A new government study shows that  drinking water in the residential Hadnot Point area of the base was unsafe for human consumption as far back as 1953. According to a Marine spokesman, the extension of the time line will add between 33,000 and 53,000 to the number of people who lived at the base when the water was contaminated.

Contamination resulted from years of leaking fuel tanks, which estimates now show leaked at least a million gallons of fuel, and to a lesser degree from an off-base dry cleaning establishment.

According to the Washington Post, “The Marines were slow to react after groundwater sampling first showed contamination on the base in the early 1980s. Some drinking water wells were closed in 1984 and 1985, after further testing confirmed contamination from leaking fuel tanks and an off-base dry cleaner. . . . Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to tainted water.” 

It is believed now that the base’s water supply was contaminated with VOCs (volatile organic compounds) at least as early as 1953.  

The fifteen health conditions singled out in the 2012 law that veterans and family members who served on active duty or resided at Camp Lejeune for 30 days or more during the 24 year can make VA medical care claims for are

Esophageal cancer

Breast cancer

Kidney cancer

Multiple myeloma

Renal toxicity

Female infertility


Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 

Lung cancer

Bladder cancer


Myelodysplastic syndromes

Hepatic steatosis


Neurobehavioral effects.


Full story from the Washington Post