collaborative post // The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is the home of expeditionary forces in readiness. It is a war fighting platform where sailors and Marines are trained, launch off, operate, and recover while also providing services and facilities as well as the support for the needs of families of fighters and war-fighters alike. 

Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash

However, many law firms such as are now covering suits against this camp. 

This is because the fighters and their families fell victim to toxic water that was used in the life support during their stationing abroad and also while spending time at the Camp. 

There are four toxic chemicals found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, these involved TCE, VC, PCE, and benzene. 

If you believe you have suffered as a result of the toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune, get in touch with a lawyer now, but first stick around to learn about what these chemicals are and why they are so dangerous! 

The Chemicals Involved

The Chemicals found in the water at Camp Lejeune include: trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, benzene, and vinyl chloride. 

None of these chemicals are safe for human consumption, and can lead to serious complications and even fatalities when ingested into the human body.

Tests from routine water treatment campling identified these chemicals in the drinking water, and since they are all chemicals which are colorless, it would have been hard to know at the time. 

These chemicals are used for cleaning metal, dry cleaning, and even to make plastics, so it is clear why they should not be ingested. 

Chemical Specific Health Effects

The chemicals can have some severe health effects when ingested, and many of those now filing lawsuits in regard to this have suffered because of this in some way. 

Let’s learn a bit more about these chemicals, and why they are so dangerous when entered into the human body.

TCE (Trichloroethylene)

Trichloroethylene is a chemical solvent that is often used in the cleaning of metal equipment and parts.

At the base housing for families and service members, TCE was the primary contaminating factor. The highest level found here was in 1982 at 1,400 parts per billion, the limit is 5 parts per billion. 

Following substantial exposure to TCE, subjects may suffer cardiac arrhythmia, coma, or even death. TCE is a well known carcinogen, and it is known that prolonged TCE exposure can lead to kidney cancer.

PCE/ PERC (Tetrachloroethylene) 

PCE is a chemical solvent which is often used in dry cleaning and sometimes used in degreasing metal as well. The base housing for members and families and Camp Lejeune had PCE as the primary contaminant. 

The highest level found in the drinking water at this location was 215 parts per billion back in 1985. The maximum that is allowed is 5 parts per billion. 

Camp Lejeune’s water supply is suspected to have exceeded this maximum amount allowed for an insane 246 months from 1957 until 1987. 

As time goes on PCE will degrade in water and turn into TCE, vinyl chloride, trans 1, and also DCE. 

Exposure to PCE can damage the body’s nervous system, and can impact color vision, memory, and the ability to process information. When ingested through liquids it is believed that PCE can increase the risk of cancer, and it is known to cause kidney damage and liver damage in animals as well. 

Vinyl Chloride

Vinyl chloride is typically used to make a substance known as polyvinyl chloride, or as more commonly known, PVC. This is used to make a very wide range of plastics, it can be used in construction materials and packaging alike. 

VC is also made as a part of the combustion product in cigarettes/ smoking. 

Exposure to VC is linked to an increased likelihood of a rare liver cancer, alongside primary liver cancer, leukemia, lung cancer and lymphoma. 


Benzene is a very dangerous chemical, and is actually one of the most common chemicals that is used for production. There are even some businesses that use it to create other chemicals for nylon synthetics, plastics and resins. 

This chemical is also often utilized for making dyes, drugs, rubbers, pesticides, detergents, and lubricants. 

When large levels of Benzene is ingested it can cause dizziness, stomach irritation, vomiting, rapid heart rate, sleepiness, convulsions and more. However, swallowing very high amounts is very deadly. 

The liver, lungs, kidneys, brain and heart are all affected by the introduction of Benzene to the human body.

Related read: Small Ways To Be More Sustainable At Home

1 Comment

  1. I seem to recall my aunt and uncle being stationed there, not sure though. Their oldest child was severely mentally handicapped. She was born in 1960, so the timeframe would fit. Both my aunt and uncle have passed on, so my eldest cousin is in an institution (has been for 30 years). It’s sad.

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