Camp Lejeune Water Contamination

Drinking water at the US Marine Corp Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina was contaminated between 1953 and 1987 with Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Our military and their families were unknowingly drinking water contaminated with toxins every day. Scientific evidence shows that exposure to this contaminated water while living or serving at Camp Lejeune caused thousands to develop cancer, birth defects, and other conditions.


From the 1950s through the mid-1980’s Marines, Naval personnel, and their families living or serving at the U.S. Marie Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were exposed to drinking water contaminated with benzene, industrial solvents, and other harmful chemicals. As many as one million military men, women, and their families have been exposed to the contaminated drinking water because they lived or served at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1953, and December 31, 1987.

Tests of the water supply found trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride (VC), and benzene in the drinking water sources at Camp Lejeune. TCE is an odorless, colorless solvent used for cleaning metal parts. PCE is a clear liquid with a mild odor used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. TCE and PCE degrade in groundwater over time to Vinyl Chloride. Benzene is used to make other chemicals that are used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers.  Each is harmful to humans and carcinogenic.

Levels of TCE and PCE were discovered to be extremely high at two water treatment plants serving the military base: the Hadnot Point treatment plant and the Tarawa Terrace water plant.


The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has been studying the contamination and its effects. The chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune are associated with certain types of cancer, neurologic disorders, cardiac defects, and birth defects.

The types of cancers linked to TCE and PCE contamination in drinking water at Camp Lejeune include:

  • Leukemia
  • Bladder cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Brain cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Rectal cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Other health conditions associated with exposure to these chemicals include aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, end-stage renal disease, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriage, and more.

If you or a loved one were living or serving at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and were subsequently diagnosed with any of the illnesses listed above, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Yaeger Law to discuss the details of your potential Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuit.