The Camp Lejeune water contamination incident is a tragic environmental disaster that has had lasting health consequences for thousands of people, particularly veterans and their families. The contamination at Camp Lejeune, a U.S. Marine Corps base in North Carolina, occurred over several decades, exposing individuals to a toxic cocktail of industrial chemicals and hazardous waste. 

Among the various health concerns associated with the contamination, there is growing evidence suggesting a potential link between exposure to these contaminants and the development of Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder.

In this article, we explore the connection between Camp Lejeune contamination and Parkinson’s disease, examining scientific studies, specific contaminants of concern, ongoing research, and the challenges faced by affected individuals.

Background of Camp Lejeune Contamination

The Camp Lejeune water contamination tragedy unfolded at the U.S. Marine Corps base from the 1950s to the 1980s. During this period, the base’s water supply became contaminated with industrial chemicals and toxic waste, exposing thousands of military personnel, their families, and civilian employees to harmful substances. 

The contamination resulted from leaking storage tanks, improper disposal practices, and other activities. This prolonged exposure to contaminants has raised concerns about the potential long-term health effects on those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune during that time, including a possible link to the development of various diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease.

A Brief About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the brain. It manifests through a wide array of motor symptoms, such as tremors, bradykinesia (slowness of movement), rigidity, and postural instability. 

However, Parkinson’s disease is not solely limited to motor symptoms. It can also cause non-motor symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression, and sleep disturbances. 

According to Parkinson’s Foundation, approximately 1 million individuals in the United States currently live with Parkinson’s disease, and it is projected that this number will increase to 1.2 million by 2030. After Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder. Each year, almost 90,000 individuals in the country receive a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease.

While the exact cause of Parkinson’s disease remains unclear, research suggests a combination of genetic and environmental factors, including exposure to certain toxins, may contribute to its development. Understanding Parkinson’s disease is crucial for exploring its potential association with the Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Studies Linking Parkinson’s Disease With Camp Lejeune Contamination

Recently published research in reveals a significant finding regarding the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis. According to the study, marines and sailors, who were exposed to organic solvents and volatile compounds in contaminated water and used it for drinking and bathing face a 70% higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. 

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology, emphasizes the contribution of the toxic chemicals present in the base water supply over 40 years ago to the development of this debilitating illness.

These findings contribute to the growing body of evidence supporting a possible connection between the Camp Lejeune contamination and the development of this neurodegenerative disorder, underscoring the need for further investigation and understanding.

Specific Contaminants of Concern at Camp Lejeune

The Camp Lejeune water contamination involved a range of specific contaminants that have raised concerns about their potential link to Parkinson’s disease. According to Science Alert, the increased risk of Parkinson’s disease is associated with exposure to trichloroethylene. Trichloroethylene, a colorless cleaning chemical with a smell similar to chloroform, was discovered in Camp Lejeune’s drinking water in 1982. 

The presence of other hazardous chemicals such as PCE, benzene, trans-1,2-DCE, and vinyl chloride were also detected in the water. These chemicals contaminate drinking water supplies and pose a risk when ingested or inhaled. 

Veteran Health Concerns and Camp Lejeune Lawsuit

The health consequences resulting from water contamination at Camp Lejeune have been severe for both veterans and their families, potentially even including a connection to Parkinson’s disease. In response to these issues, the  Camp Lejeune toxic water lawsuit strives to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. 

The primary objective of the lawsuit is to obtain compensation for the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages experienced by the veterans. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks to bring attention to the unique obstacles veterans face when accessing healthcare and support services. 

The lawsuit plays a crucial role in addressing the specific health concerns of Camp Lejeune veterans and advocating for their overall well-being and pursuit of justice.

Regulatory Responses to the Camp Lejeune Incident

TorHoerman Law notes that in August 2022, President Biden passed the Camp Lejeune Justice Act into law as part of the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act. The legislation offers a pathway for individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses as a result of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, to obtain a settlement

The comprehensive settlement provided for veterans in the Act encompasses various forms of compensation, including health care benefits, coverage for medical expenses, and financial recovery for damages resulting from injuries and exposure related to Camp Lejeune.

While these measures have provided some relief, challenges persist in ensuring adequate resources, raising awareness, and improving accountability to address the long-term consequences of the contamination.


The potential link between the Camp Lejeune water contamination crisis and Parkinson’s disease is a matter of significant concern and ongoing research. Despite challenges posed by complex environmental exposures, latency periods, and data limitations, scientists are committed to investigating the connection and understanding the health impacts. 

The Camp Lejeune contamination tragedy remains a stark reminder of the long-lasting consequences of environmental disasters, particularly on the health of veterans and their families. By raising awareness and supporting further investigation, we can strive for justice and improved healthcare for those impacted by the Camp Lejeune water contamination.


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