Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water Linked to 70% Higher Parkinson’s Disease Risk for Veterans: Study

High levels of the industrial solvent TCE contaminated Camp Lejeune water for decades, leading to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease and other injuries for veterans.

It has long been established there is a link between contaminated Camp Lejeune water and Parkinson’s Disease, various forms of cancer and other diseases, but a new study took a closer look at the harmful effects of industrial solvents found in the water supply, concluding that Camp Lejeune veterans had a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Estimates suggest more than a million Marines and their family members were exposed to contaminated Camp Lejeune water between the early 1950s and late 1980s, with some reports suggesting that toxic chemicals from Camp Lejeune may be responsible for more than 50,000 cases of breast cancer, 28,000 cases of bladder cancer, and 24,000 cases of renal cancer, as well as thousands of cases involve Parkinson’s disease and other health complications. It is also believed Camp Lejeune water caused birth defects and wrongful death for thousands of unborn children exposed in utero.

Last summer, President Joe Biden signed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CJLA) of 2022 into law, which opened a two-year window for veterans, military family members and other individuals exposed to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government, which had previously denied all claims under qualified immunity defenses and the North Carolina Statute of Repose.

As a result, thousands of marines and their family members are now pursuing Camp Lejeune water contamination lawsuits over Parkinson’s disease, cancer, neurological disorders and other injuries allegedly caused by harmful chemicals they were exposed to, and the litigation is expected to become one of the largest mass torts in U.S. history before the end of 2024.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Lawsuit

Suffer From Health Issues Due To The Water At Camp Lejeune?

Water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina between 1953 and 1987 caused cancers, birth defects, miscarriages and other side effects for U.S. Marines and their family members.

Learn More About this Lawsuit See If You Qualify For Compensation

In this latest study, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco sought to determine whether Parkinson’s disease rates among military veterans were affected by exposure to contaminated Camp Lejeune water between 1975 and 1985, when the water was contaminated by trichloroethylene and other volatile organic compounds.

Their findings were published May 15 in the medical journal JAMA Neurology, indicating that exposed veterans at the base had a 70% higher risk of Parkinson’s disease than their peers.

Contaminated Camp Lejeune Water TCE Parkinson’s Disease Risks

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a chemical that has been widely used as an industrial solvent since the 1920s. It is used as a de-greaser and it is used to decaffeinate coffee. However, the most likely exposure linked to Camp Lejeune is its use in dry cleaning clothes.

Dry cleaning chemicals have long been strongly linked to Camp Lejeune water contamination, and studies have found that exposure to TCE increased risk of cancer, miscarriages, heart disease, birth defects and Parkinson’s disease in previous studies.

University of California, San Francisco researchers conducted a population-based cohort study which examined the risk for Parkinson’s disease among more than 170,000 U.S. Marine and Navy personnel who served at Camp Lejeune for at least three months between 1975 and 1985. They compared those veterans to nearly 170,000 veterans who served at Camp Pendleton during the same time period. The researchers also looked for other forms of Parkinson’s disease or related prodromal neurological disorders.

According to the findings, Camp Lejeune veterans had a 70% higher increased risk of Parkinson’s disease than those from Camp Pendleton, with a prevalence rate of 0.33%. Camp Pendleton veterans had a Parkinson’s disease rate of only 0.21%, researchers found.

The findings come just two months after another recent study found TCE chemicals in Camp Lejeune water could increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by a factor of five. Those researchers indicated TCE is found at half of the 1,300 most toxic Superfund sites in the U.S., as well as on military bases like Camp Lejeune, where levels were found to be 280 times higher than recommended safety standards.

In this latest study, researchers said they found no excess risk for other forms of neurodegenerative Parkinson’s. However, they determined Camp Lejeune veterans had a significantly increased risk of prodromal Parkinson’s disease diagnoses, such as tremors, anxiety and erectile dysfunction.

“The study’s findings suggest that the risk of PD is higher in persons exposed to TCE and other VOCs in water 4 decades ago,” the researchers concluded. “Millions worldwide have been and continue to be exposed to this ubiquitous environmental contaminant.”

May 2023 Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Update

A rapidly growing number of Camp Lejeune lawsuits have been filed over the past four months, since each claimant had to wait 180 days after notifying the U.S. government of their intention to pursue a claim. Since the new law went into effect in August 2022, the U.S. Navy indicates that at least 25,000 claims have been submitted to date, and the number of filed lawsuits is expected to continue to grow over the next two years, before deadline to bring claims expires in August 2024.

While the U.S. government passed this landmark legislation, the law does not include any automatic right to settlement benefits for veterans and their family members. Rather, each claimant must file a lawsuit and establish that they were exposed to Camp Lejeune water for at least 30 days between August 1953 and December 31, 1987. It is also necessary that they present expert testimony or support to establish that there is a causal relationship between the Camp Lejeune water and injury, or that such a relationship is at least as likely as not.

At this time, Camp Lejeune injury lawyers are reviewing claims for a wide variety of cancers and other complications that may have been caused by the chemicals in the water, including:

Camp Lejeune Cancer Lawsuits:

  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Brain Cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Central Nervous System Cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon Cancer/Colorectal Cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Hodgkins Lymphoma
  • Kidney cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Rectal Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

Other Side Effects Eligible for Camp Lejeune Lawsuit Benefits:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal Toxicity/Kidney Disease
  • Kidney Damage
  • Hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Scleroderma
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Female Infertility
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Epilepsy (seizures)
  • Immune Disorders
  • Nerve Damage
  • Neurobehavioral effects
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS or Pre-Leukemia)
  • Neurobehavioral effects (tremors, lack of coordination, movement or motor problems or other symptoms consistent with undiagnosed Parkinson’s disease)


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