Neurobehavior Effects of Contaminated Water at Camp Lejeune

Military service members and their families who lived and worked at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base from 1953 to 1987 were exposed to contaminated water. Researchers have determined that this contaminated water included dangerous, volatile organic compounds that have been linked to serious health problems, including various cancers.

While the cancers stemming from exposure have dominated headlines, researchers also determined that the contaminated water caused serious damage to the neurological and nervous systems of persons, resulting in behavioral, emotional, and learning problems. The neurobehavioral effects of the contaminated water has included insomnia, headaches, memory problems, lack of concentration, anxiety, dementia, and Parkinson's disease.

What are Neurobehavioral Effects?

Neurobehavioral issues affect how a person's brain communicates with one’s nervous system. These effects can manifest as physical, emotional, behavioral, or learning problems. Toxins such as the volatile organic substances in the contaminated Camp Lejeune water has caused serious neurobehavioral effects in exposed persons. The symptoms each person experiences may depend on the amount of exposure to the toxins and the amount of damage to the brain after exposure.

Unfortunately, many victims may not even realize they are experiencing symptoms related to toxic water at Camp Lejeune. They may report changes in their mood, attention span, memory, or personality, but consider these changes to be a natural part of life or related to another medical condition.

If you were stationed at Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987 and you have experienced any serious medical symptoms, you should consult with an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney. You may have a valid claim for compensation based on your neurological symptoms.

Symptoms of Neurological Conditions Linked to Toxic Water

Various studies have found that the water at Camp Lejeune caused serious neurological issues. The neurobehavioral effects caused by toxic drinking water have been linked to neurological diseases such as Parkinson's Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. The most common symptoms of neurobehavioral effects caused by contaminated water include the following:

  • Trouble concentrating;
  • Headaches;
  • Tension;
  • Confusion;
  • Depression;
  • Sensory disturbances;
  • Lack of coordination;
  • Tremors;
  • Involuntary muscle movement (dystonia or dyskinesia);
  • Memory problems;
  • Motor problems, including coordination and balance problems;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Learning disorders;
  • Changes in mood or personality;
  • Dizziness;
  • Anxiety;

Exposure can also cause alterations in neurobehavioral tests that could include defects in reaction time, motor function, attention, visuomotor coordination, contrast sensitivity, and digit symbols. Additionally, exposure can cause certain neuropsychological disorders, including behavioral and learning behaviors.

How Long Do Neurobehavioral Effects Laws?

Some victims of contaminated water do not experience symptoms immediately after exposure. The neurobehavioral effects of exposure to volatile organic chemicals can last anywhere from a few minutes to several years. When a person has been exposed to low levels of chemicals in a short time frame, one may experience mild effects that can be reversible. Unfortunately, long-term, chronic exposure to significant levels of toxic chemicals can cause permanent neurological problems that cannot be reversed.

The Link Between Contaminated Water and Neurobehavioral Effects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Veteran Affairs have publicly linked the toxic chemicals in contaminated water to neurobehavioral effects. The VA provides healthcare and compensation benefits for veterans who have suffered qualifying neurological effects while stationed at Camp Lejeune.

Multiple government-funded studies have linked the four main chemicals found in the water supply at Camp Lejeune to neurological problems. Specifically, trichloroethylene (TCE) has been linked to neurobehavioral deficits when a person is exposed to low concentrations over a long term. The average Navy or Marine service member stationed at Camp Lejeune was present for approximately 18 months. This was a sufficient amount of time to cause significant exposure to dangerous toxins.

During the relevant period, the amount of TCE, perchloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and benzene were also significantly above the safe limits in drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Service members and their families consumed water, took showers, and used the contaminated water in their homes, schools, and hospitals, exposing them to enough chemicals to cause brain injuries.

Discuss Your Case With an Experienced Attorney

Were you stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune between 1953 and 1987? Have you experienced neurological symptoms? If so, we recommend undergoing a comprehensive medical evaluation. You may be suffering from effects of exposure to the volatile organic compounds in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. We also recommend contacting the experienced North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule a free case evaluation.

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