For approximately thirty-four years, people at Camp Lejeune consumed drinking water contaminated with TCE, PCE, vinyl chloride, and benzene. These chemicals are colorless–therefore, no one noticed their presence until water sampling was conducted in 1982.
The excessive consumption of the named cleaning solvents led to the development of several health issues in Camp Lejeune’s occupants, including heart disease. In this post, we’ll be focusing on Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease specifically. You’ll learn which conditions are linked with the consumption of contaminated water, what’s the worst you can expect, and who is eligible for compensation under the PACT Act.
Impact on Heart Health
Apart from the volatile organic compounds named above, there were about seventy other contaminants involved in Camp Lejeune water contamination. Each contaminant was approximately 240 to 3400 times the levels considered safe.
According to scientific evidence, long-term exposure to lead or consumption of volatile organic compounds like benzene increases the risk of heart attacks and cancer, be it direct intake or passive intake (via breathing). These chemicals thicken the blood-pumping chamber of the heart and suppress the Circulating Angiogenic Cells (CACs).
Consequently, the heart is unable to regenerate damaged tissues or overcome blockages, and your risk of developing fatal heart problems increases with age. What’s more, exposure to TCE can lead to heart defects in newly born children. If pregnant women are exposed to TCE between the second and eighth week of pregnancy, the child may develop heart issues. Even in adults, TCE is a key chemical responsible for the development of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD).
Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs does not recognize heart disease as a health problem linked to the water contamination at Camp Lejeune. However, several former residents have reported cardiovascular health issues. For example:
- Walter died at the age of twenty-five from heart disease.
- Wayne died from pulmonary emboli.
- Wayne’s brother, John, got diagnosed with pulmonary emboli, as well.
- A veteran’s wife died in 1981 due to a heart valve problem. She gave birth to three children at Camp Lejeune between 1972 and 1979. Two of these children were born prematurely. One of these children, Joe, died thirty days after birth due to lung problems. The other child, a daughter, was born with a hole in her stomach; she survived, but still faces stomach problems. The third child was also born with a stomach problem.
- Another child born at Camp Lejeune in 1981 has a heart murmur from birth.
More and more cases are coming into view with the passage of time. Due to the increasing number of such reports, the VA is now actively working with the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to find scientific evidence for the link between water contamination and heart diseases.
How Can You Demand Compensation?
If you are one of Camp Lejeune’s water contamination victims and wish to be compensated for the heart health issues that you’ve developed due to contaminated water, it’s best you seek professional help from a qualified attorney familiar with the Camp Lejeune case, such as Strom Law.
Right now, the government does not recognize heart disease to be a consequence of water contamination, so you’ll need professional legal help to prove your point and pursue compensation. Currently, the following conditions are recognized by the government as a consequence of water contamination at Camp Lejeune:
- Kidney cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Breast cancer
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Female infertility
- Renal toxicity
- Hepatic steatosis
- Adult leukemia
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Aplastic anemia
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
Given that the VA department is actively working with the Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the list may include heart diseases and dental issues from Camp Lejeune water contamination in the near future. Because of this, it would be beneficial for you to begin the compensation process as soon as possible so that when the government does acknowledge heart conditions as a result of Camp Lejeune water exposure, you can receive your compensation quickly. Strom Law’s legal experts are ready to help.
Wondering how many people suffered from esophageal cancer from Camp Lejeune? Take a look at our latest post.