An unpublished study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has found elevated cancer rates among military and civilian personnel at Camp Lejeune, a major U.S. military base. The study, which has not been released yet, suggests a link between these increased cancer rates and contaminated drinking water at the base from 1953 to 1987. This finding could potentially lead to more compensation claims and lawsuits against the U.S. government from affected individuals.
- Elevated Cancer Rates Identified: The study documents increased cancer rates among individuals who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune, likely due to exposure to contaminated drinking water at the base.
- Delay in Study Release: Although the report was submitted in April, its release has been delayed, causing frustration among those affected by the contamination, who believe the delay is aiding the government in defending against liability claims.
- Potential Legal Implications: The findings could lead to more lawsuits against the U.S. government, as more than 117,000 compensation claims and over 1,320 civil cases have already been filed by those alleging harm from the contaminated water.
- Controversy Over Report Handling: The ATSDR’s handling of the report has been criticized, with accusations of withholding evidence, although the agency’s director cites ongoing peer reviews and internal processes as reasons for the delay.
- Historical Context: Previous reports on Camp Lejeune’s water contamination have been controversial, including a 1997 ATSDR report that was later withdrawn due to evidence of dangerous levels of fuel contamination in the drinking water.