Camp Lejeune Water Contamination and Heart Disease

For decades, U.S. Marines, Navy personnel, civilian workers, and their families have suspected a link between Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease. However, countless veterans and their loved ones have been denied military benefits for their heart conditions. Learn about the link between Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease and what legal rights you may have before the August 2024 deadline.

Did Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Cause Heart Disease?

Possibly, yes. Heart disease is not one of the conditions recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as being linked to toxic water.

However, many veterans and their families developed heart disease after exposure to contaminated water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

“Walter died at the age of 25 from heart disease. … Wayne died a few years ago from pulmonary emboli, and within three months of his brother Wayne’s death, John suddenly was diagnosed with the same ailment. All three were stationed at Camp Lejeune.”

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Thankfully, those affected can finally pursue justice due to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022.

You may qualify if you were exposed to Camp Lejeune water for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 and later got sick. Learn if you qualify to file a Camp Lejeune claim now.

VA Benefit Denials: Toxic Water Exposure and Correlation to Heart Disease

Tragically, there are far too many accounts of Camp Lejeune families who were denied VA benefits. This includes cases where Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease are linked.

In one denial that was appealed and ultimately granted, a veteran was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and deep venous thrombosis. He was only 30 years old.

The Board of Veterans’ Appeals decided in his favor and granted him benefits.

“Accordingly, in resolving all reasonable doubt in favor of the Veteran, service connection for coronary artery disease, renal insufficiency, and hypercoagulable state with anemia due to in-service exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, is granted.”

—Board of Veterans’ Appeals, 2014

Sadly, this is not how most Camp Lejeune disability compensation claims have played out over the years. Most have resulted in repeated denials by the VA, causing immense frustration and financial hardship for veterans and their family members.

North Carolina Health News reported that a group of Marines petitioned for a health registry for cases where Camp Lejeune water contamination caused heart disease or other health problems.

“My father, along with many other civilian employees, helped build Camp Lejeune. … My father died in 1960 due to heart disease.”

—Family member of suspected heart disease Camp Lejeune victim (as reported to North Carolina Health News)

If you or a loved one believes heart problems could be linked with exposure to Camp Lejeune’s water, we may be able to help — even if you were denied in the past or your loved one has since passed away.

Find out if you can file a Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease claim now.

“Filing for relief under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act of 2022 won’t affect your eligibility for VA disability or health care benefits.”

-U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

File a Camp Lejeune Claim

What Caused the Camp Lejeune Water Contamination?

The groundwater at Camp Lejeune was toxic between 1953 and 1987 due to two contaminated on-base water supply systems — Tarawa Terrace and Hadnot Point.

The drinking water contamination is linked to a nearby dry cleaning business and regular base operations. Additionally, an ongoing fuel leak hidden from service members by the U.S. Marine Corps contributed to Camp Lejeune’s water contamination problems.

“And by 1988, neither the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] nor the state had yet been told about what may have been one of the biggest threats to base water — storage tanks that had leaked thousands of gallons of fuel into the earth.”

—Tampa Bay Times

Camp Lejeune’s contaminated drinking water wells were identified and shut down by February 1985. Since the late 1980s, the federal government’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has evaluated the health risks from Camp Lejeune’s water. The official report was released in 2017.

What Contaminants Were in Camp Lejeune Water?

The ATSDR has identified several toxic chemicals in Camp Lejeune’s water systems — some of which could cause heart problems. The chemicals are known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The VOCs in Camp Lejeune’s water were:

  • Benzene
  • Dichloroethylene (DCE)
  • Tetrachloroethylene — also known as perchloroethylene (PCE)
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)
  • Vinyl chloride
  • Other contaminants

There is not yet an established connection between Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease. However, the ATSDR recognizes that TCE exposure can cause cardiac defects.

Marine and Navy personnel and their loved ones have long since believed that the toxic water at Camp Lejeune is responsible for far more than the government is letting on.

“I had two children born there at the hospital; both at seven months. We were there from 1972 to 1976. Joe [son] died less than thirty days later with lung problems. My daughter was born with a hole in her stomach. In 1981 my wife died with a heart valve problem. My daughter to this day has stomach problems. … I also had another daughter born in 1979 without a spinal cord which I believe was caused by residual effects of my wife’s contamination.”

—Suspected heart disease Camp Lejeune Victim (as reported to North Carolina Health News)

Thankfully, relief may finally be available for all conditions, not just the short list of those the government currently recognizes.

What Camp Lejeune Water Chemicals Are Linked With Heart Disease?

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), major heart defects were linked to TCE-contaminated drinking water. Therefore, it is believed that the Camp Lejeune water contamination and heart disease link may be due to TCE.

TCE is a human-made organic chemical. It is used as a degreasing solvent and to make refrigerants. It is also used by commercial dry cleaners.

What Other Health Issues Did Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Cause?

Unfortunately, there are many Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues besides heart disease.

Health effects linked with Camp Lejeune water include:

  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Birth defects
  • Cancer, such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, kidney cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Childhood illnesses and cancer
  • Female infertility
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Miscarriage and fetal death in pregnant women
  • Neurological disorders
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Renal toxicity
  • Scleroderma
  • Other health conditions

Many Camp Lejeune contaminated water health issues are chronic diseases, causing lifetime suffering for victims.

Additionally, some may not show up until decades after exposure, leaving victims unaware that their illnesses were caused by Camp Lejeune’s toxic water.

Here is a message from our founder, who lost his father to Camp Lejeune bladder cancer.

Camp Lejeune Claims Center: John’s Story Video Thumbnail

Explore the legacy of John Carberg, a U.S. Marine who developed bladder cancer from exposure to contaminated water while living at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Duration: 02 min 43 sec

I used to ask my dad, “What was it like when you were a Marine, or when you were formerly a Marine?” And he would correct me every time, he’d say, “You’re never formerly a Marine. It’s never something in the past. Once you’re a Marine, you’re a Marine for life.”

My name is Chris Carberg and my father was United States Marine John Carberg, who passed away from bladder cancer.

My dad was 17 years old when he joined the Marines. And his dad was a Marine, his brother was a Marine. It was something in our whole family that we were proud of. He lived on a military base.

My father was at Camp Lejeune for, I believe less than 60 days. He had no idea that there was anything wrong with the water.

And to think that people were spending their last moments, before they were deployed to dangerous situations, being poisoned is absolutely infuriating. We had families at Camp Lejeune. We had families on the base. We had mothers who were pregnant drinking that water.

What changed with the PACT Act and with the Camp Lejeune Act of 2022, is that for the first time, the government lowered and dropped its own immunity to being prosecuted. Veterans, their family members, they are able for the first time to file lawsuits against the government.

My dad never cared about his legacy, but what he cared about was his family. He cared about my mom, he cared about me and my sister. He cared about us. and I think that what he would want is what he always wanted. For his family to be taken care of, for my mom to be taken care of. My dad would never do something like this for himself, but he would do it for my mom in a heartbeat.

When my son and daughter ask me eventually, “What happened to Pop-pop?” I have to tell them the truth, which was that, “Well, Pop-pop was serving his country proudly. He did everything the right way, doing that that he could.” And now it’s our turn, it’s our turn to care for him and while he was sick and alive, we fought for him. We did our very best.

It’s our job as families to honor the memory of our loved ones by fighting on their behalf when they can’t fight for themselves anymore.

Who Can File a Camp Lejeune Lawsuit?

Thanks to the Camp Lejeune Justice Act, anyone who worked or lived on the base for at least 30 days between 1953 and 1987 can file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

Since children and babies lived on the base, people as young as 35 could qualify. These younger victims might be suffering from chronic illnesses without realizing they could be due to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune.

“[I was] born in Lejeune in [1981]. I have had really bad acid reflux since I was 7 that I take over-the-counter meds for daily, mostly because I just didn’t get a prescription. I was also born with a heart murmur.”

—Suspected heart disease Camp Lejeune Victim (as reported to North Carolina Health News)

The Camp Lejeune Justice Act is groundbreaking since victims have only been eligible to apply for VA benefits in the past, with most claims being denied.

A lawsuit could award you and your family compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and much more. This is in addition to any VA benefits you or your loved one may have already received.

Remember, you may be able to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease lawsuit even if you have been denied disability benefits in the past. But don’t wait to take action — lawsuits are subject to deadlines, and you do not want to miss your chance to finally get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Find out your eligibility to file a Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease claim now.

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Is There a Time Limit to File a Heart Disease Camp Lejeune Claim?

Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease victims might think they are ineligible if they have been denied VA benefits in the past. Their family members may worry that since their loved one has already passed away, they will not qualify to file a Camp Lejeune lawsuit.

Another common concern for many veterans is that they believe their exposure occurred too long ago to do anything now.

Fortunately, eligible victims may still be able to receive a Camp Lejeune water contamination settlement. Family members of victims who have died may also qualify for compensation.

Did You Know?

All Camp Lejeune water lawsuits must be filed by August 10, 2024. Don’t wait.

Remember, it doesn’t matter how far back exposure was. However, there are strict deadlines that should be taken very seriously.

Find a Camp Lejeune Law Firm

Because the laws allowing Camp Lejeune lawsuits are new, there is still some uncertainty about how they will be handled. For this reason, it is critical to work with a qualified Camp Lejeune heart disease law firm.

The best Camp Lejeune water law firms are:

  • Involved in the fight to get justice for Camp Lejeune water supply victims
  • Experienced at handling cases on a national level
  • Familiar with how class actions and mass tort litigation work
  • Staffed by lawyers with experience handling toxic exposure lawsuits

Get connected with a top Camp Lejeune water contamination heart disease law firm now. The Camp Lejeune Claims Center helps victims in all 50 states with no upfront costs.

Our trained Camp Lejeune claims advocates are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions. Contact us now at (866) 473-4764 to speak with an advocate.

Camp Lejeune Water Contamination Heart Disease FAQs

Is heart disease included in Camp Lejeune water contamination?

Heart disease and Camp Lejeune water contamination are linked. However, heart disease is not one of the qualifying presumptive illnesses established by the VA.

While the medical evidence is not as clear-cut as some of the other illnesses, there have been a number of reports from military service members with Camp Lejeune heart problems.

Can contaminated water cause heart problems?

Yes, contaminated water can lead to heart problems. Depending on what chemicals have polluted the water, the damage to the cardiovascular system can vary.

However, prolonged or regular exposure to contaminated water can increase the chances of heart disease and pose many other serious health risks.

What heart issues are related to Camp Lejeune?

A number of heart issues have been linked to exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. These include arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects, heart failure, and stroke.

What are the complications from Camp Lejeune water contamination?

The water contamination at Camp Lejeune is linked to various health problems, including heart problems, kidney and liver cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Parkinson’s disease, miscarriage, and birth defects.

Long-term exposure to the contaminated water is also associated with various neurological disorders (like Parkinson’s disease), impairments in cognitive functions, and severe lung diseases, such as lung cancer.

The Camp Lejeune Claims Center exists to help military veterans harmed by the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune to get the financial compensation they deserve. We're ready to help you — at no out-of-pocket cost to you or your family.

  1. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). (2017, January). Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  2. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). (2014, January 16). Chemicals involved. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  3. Barnes, G. (2021, March 16). Marine Veterans Petition for Medical Health Registry for Camp Lejeune Toxic Water Victims. North Carolina Health News. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019, September 25). Camp Lejeune. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, January 16). Health effects linked with TCE, PCE, benzene, and vinyl chloride exposure. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, January 16). Report of the Camp Lejeune Scientific Advisory Panel. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  7. Jones, M. (2016, June 30). Vet links health problems to Camp Lejeune – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  8. National Cancer Institute. (2022, December 08). Trichloroethylene – cancer-causing substances. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  9. St. Lawrence County Government. (2009, October 18). Camp Lejeune water contamination history. Camp Lejeune Water Contamination History | St. Lawrence County. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  10. US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2023, March 08). Camp Lejeune water contamination health issues. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from
  11. US Department of Veterans Affairs. (2014, October 22). Citation Nr: 1445364. home. Retrieved May 21, 2023, from

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