Local News

Agency: Camp Lejeune water contaminated in 1953

Posted January 18, 2013

Lejeune water, contaminated water, tainted water

— Many more Marines and their relatives could be eligible for compensation for illnesses because a federal agency determined that the water at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune was contaminated four years earlier than thought.

In a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the federal the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says computer modeling shows that drinking water in the residential Hadnot Point area was unsafe for human consumption as far back as August 1953. President Barack Obama signed a law last year granting health care and screening to Marines and their dependents on base between 1957 and 1987.

Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to tainted water.

North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr issued a statement Friday, saying, "It is my hope that VA will act quickly to amend their policy and review relevant disability claims that have been denied. This is also good news for veterans’ family members who are eligible for health care under the law enacted last year."


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Dnut Jan 18, 2013

    I was there from 85 to 91, wonder what I should be looking for..

  • starfire71 Jan 18, 2013

    I am not surprised. I cannot count how many times I was lied to in the Army and cannot even begin to imagine what I wasn't told. This is one of the reasons I got out of the Army. Members of the Armed Forces are not compensated justly for what they do. They often qualify for food stamps, receive poor quality health care, and once they retire or leave the military, the Veteran's Administration is under-staffed and under-funded, all the money from the Pentagon is going to contractors, weapons, and planes. The average service member doesn't make much. Look up the pay scale for the soldiers on the internet. It is a crying shame how poorly the enlisted get paid to lay their lives on the line and then come home and realize their families and sometimes themselves have been poisoned. The government didn't know? Really. I for one feel sorry for all those poisoned while they served their country. I lived in base housing that had lead and asbestos in 2000. The government will never change.

  • killing_me_softly Jan 18, 2013

    Southerntalent, I was being sarcastic because I made a comment and they did not post it. I Googled and found the answer. I just figured that since this was a media outlet, they would tell us that. My bad. (Being sarcastic again) I thought that WRAL was the best when it comes to reporting.

    If you search,I believe they said chemical tanks were leaking into the groundwater

  • isaacewallace Jan 18, 2013

    The toxic substances they found are PCE and TCE,both are solvent's
    and are used in dry cleaning and as a degreaser.They also found BTEX
    (Benzene,Toluene,Ethylbenzene,Zylene)- BTEX is found in petroleum products.You can imagine in the 50s,60s and 70s no one was paying any attention to what was going into the groundwater either intentionally or unintentionally.

  • Gork Jan 18, 2013

    Makes you wonder about activities like WikiLeaks and the potential value of such activities. Perhaps thousands of people would not have been poisoned if unscrupulous government officials had been exposed decades before they started warning people about hazards they were aware of - "not on my watch", don't want to jeopardize my military career...

  • srichmond63 Jan 18, 2013

    I want to see anybody on Earth give them the lives back...with their "compensation" tell what price tag did you put on your father?

  • southerntalent Jan 18, 2013

    Perhaps I should ask this another way. What contaminated the water?

    If you search,I believe they said chemical tanks were leaking into the groundwater

  • Caveman93 Jan 18, 2013

    Tainted with what? HEllo?

  • romneycare Jan 18, 2013

    if this is true, then i'm eligible for money money mone-yyyyyy

  • killing_me_softly Jan 18, 2013

    Perhaps I should ask this another way. What contaminated the water?