Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing by National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life

By National Research Council, Division on Earth and Life Studies, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Committee on Contaminated Drinking Water at Camp Lejeune

Within the early Eighties, water-supply platforms at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina have been stumbled on to be infected with the economic solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). The water platforms have been provided by way of the Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot aspect watertreatment crops, which served enlisted-family housing, barracks for single carrier body of workers, base administrative workplaces, colleges, and leisure parts. The Hadnot aspect water approach additionally served the bottom health center and an commercial quarter and provided water to housing at the Holcomb street water method (full-time until eventually 1972 and periodically thereafter). This publication examines what's recognized in regards to the illness of the water provides at Camp Lejeune and even if the infection will be associated with any adversarial future health results in former citizens and staff on the base.

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Extra resources for Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health Effects

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There were some adverse effects on offspring of pregnant female rats exposed to PCE but to not TCE. Adverse changes in some nervous system measurements were seen in some TCE and PCE studies. TCE causes some effects on the immune system of sensitive strains of mice, but there are few immunotoxicity studies on PCE. When possible, the committee identified the lowest dose of TCE or PCE at which adverse effects were observed in animal studies (the dose is called the lowest-observed-adverse-effect level or LOAEL).

After reviewing the study plans and feasibility assessments, the committee concluded that most questions about whether exposures at Camp Lejeune resulted in adverse health effects cannot be answered definitively with further scientific study. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is not possible to reliably estimate the historical exposures experienced by people at the base. Second, it will be difficult to detect any increases in the rate of diseases or disorders in the study population.

The chemical was used by an off-base dry cleaner (ABC One-Hour Cleaners), and the groundwater became contaminated with PCE as a result of spills and improper disposal practices. Contamination of the wells from that source is estimated to have begun as early as 1953, the year when dry-cleaning operations began. There were also other on-base sources of contamination in the Tarawa Terrace system that had a smaller impact on the water supply. The contamination of the Hadnot Point water supply was more complex and involved multiple sources and multiple contaminants.

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