VA Acknowledges Presumption of Illness from Camp Lejeune Water Exposure

In the early 1980s, chemicals that are used in dry cleaning and metal  degreasing, along with benzene and vinyl chloride, were discovered in the water supply system at Camp Jejeune and MCAS New River.  The contaminated wells were finally shut down in February, 1985.

After years of research by environmental and health groups, the VA now acknowledges that exposure to that water is the presumptive cause of a variety of conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease, Adult leukemia, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, multiple myeloma and cancer of the kidney, liver or bladder.

Claims for disabilty compensation based on these conditions will be given the presumption of service-connection for all active duty, reserve and National Guard members who served at Camp Lejeune for a minimum of 30 days (cumulative, but not necessarily consecutive) between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987. These veterans are already eligible for some medical benefits, following the passage of the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012.

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