ELKHORN—Officials at the Veterans Administration say dangerous chemicals leached into the drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina are linked to long-term health issues for thousands of Marines and their family members stationed there between 1953 and 1983, according to a Walworth County Veterans Services news release.
“There were several chemicals including some cleaning solvents that found their way into the drinking water supply at Camp Lejeune,” said Nathan Bond, Walworth County’s Veterans Service officer. “Those chemicals have been linked to several diseases, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is starting to compensate Marines, other service-members, and their families who were exposed while living and working at Camp Lejeune.”
Studies are still underway, but the VA will presume that if a veteran of Camp Lejeune has one of the following diseases, it is caused by exposure to the chemicals that were in the water:
- Adult leukemia
- Bladder cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Liver cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes (types of bone marrow disease)
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Parkinson's disease
Bond said Walworth County veterans who served at Camp Lejeune between August 1, 1983 and December 31, 1987, and who have been diagnosed with one or more of these diseases should call his office at 262-741-4222 to file a disability claim with the VA as soon as possible to maximize their benefits.
Bond also encouraged the surviving spouses of any Camp Lejeune veterans who died of one of the listed diseases to contact him as well.
“There might be benefits for survivors, too,” he said.