The military has admitted that drinking toxic water exposure on base had serious health consequences for servicemembers. At Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, which closed for 35 years from 1953 to 1987, servicemembers reported higher rates of various cancers and other health problems. Pregnant women also showed higher rates of birth defects and low birth weight, according to the report. The toxic water problems at the base have not been adequately addressed by the military, but the Department of Defense has been urged to investigate the matter.
The Marine Corps has admitted that toxic water was used on base for nearly three decades. A bipartisan group of lawmakers recently introduced legislation to address these concerns. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act would allow those who were exposed to toxic water to sue the government for compensation. The new law would cover the medical expenses for those who contracted cancer or suffered other health problems as a result of drinking toxic water on the base.
The Environmental Working Group has found that over three hundred military sites have contaminated drinking water and groundwater. The government is currently working with the group to address these problems, and a senior defense official has committed to more transparency in the future.