Water Is Life Blog

Men Say Their Breast Cancer was Caused by Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

May 27, 2013

You have probably heard of Love Canal and Woburn Massachusetts but do you know about Camp Lejeune, NC? Simply put, it is the worst toxic exposure site in the country.

Over a million Marines and their families drank and bathed in water for 32 years, from at least 1953-1985 that was contaminated with toxins at concentrations up to 3400 times levels permitted by safety standards.

The main chemicals involved were volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as PCE, TCE, and Benzene. It appears that leaking fuel from military storage tanks and dumping from a nearby dry cleaning business are the source of the problem. These chemicals caused hundreds of cancers, including more than 40 documented cases of male breast cancer which is usually rare. Many were childhood cancers like leukemia; many miscarriages and stillbirths.

For decades the military adamantly dismissed ongoing reports of illness and the linkage to water pollution. Only last year did President Obama sign into law a resolution accepting responsibility and providing for healthcare options for the victims.

But this is not just an isolated problem.  Nearly 900 of the EPA’s nearly 1300 Superfund sites are related to the US military. By the late 1980s, the Pentagon was generating a ton of toxic waste per minute, more than the five largest US chemical companies combined, making it the largest polluter in the United States. Other notable military sites include Rocky Flats- Colorado, Hanford-Washington, and Jefferson Proving Grounds in Madison Indiana.

In his 1961 Farewell Speech, President Eisenhower warned about the “military-industrial complex” and its corrupting influence on our core values as a society. Little did he know then what we know now, which is that the military-industrial complex is also undermining the health of our society through its massive pollution of our water supply.

MULTIPURE FILTERS are NSF Certified to reduce VOCs, including Benzene, Trichloretheylene (TCE), and PCE.