Those who were stationed in or near Camp Lejeune, a Marine Corps base in North Carolina, from 1953 through 1987, may have been exposed to toxic substances in the water. For many decades, certain substances found their way into the water at Camp Lejeune. After coming into contact with this poisonous water, many service members and their families have developed serious illnesses.

Many of these service members are suing the federal government for the illnesses they developed after drinking this tainted water for prolonged periods. The Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) sets out specific health disorders that may be covered by a compensation claim through the Camp Lejeune water settlement. Service members who developed some type of disorder after being stationed at or near Camp Lejeune may be able to make a claim for damages.

Many of these service members are anxiously wondering whether these diseases could be passed down to their children. However, in most cases, offspring will not necessarily inherit the disorders their parents contracted after consuming the water at Camp Lejeune.

Although this is good news, it does not mean that everyone is safe. Those who were stationed at Camp Lejeune should know what diseases they may be facing, for which conditions they can make a claim, and how this may affect their children.

The Chemicals That May Have Affected You

There are many chemicals that may have leaked into the water at Camp Lejeune. A list of the most common toxins is as follows:

  • Trichloroethylene (TCE), which is used for dry-cleaning and degreasing metals
  • Benzene, which is used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and synthetic fibers
  • Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), which is used as a solvent used to clean metals
  • Vinyl chloride (VC), to which TCE and VCE degrade over time.

These chemicals were allowed to leak into the water at Camp Lejeune for decades, so many service members were exposed to them These individuals consumed these chemicals in the drinking water without even realizing they were putting their well-being at risk.

Many of these service members developed life-threatening disorders, all because they drank the toxic water at the base. As a result, the government has stated that these service members can make a claim for their damages.

The Disorders That You May Develop To Make A Claim

The CLJA covers only certain disorders suffered by those stationed in or around Camp Lejeune. First, the service member must have been stationed at or near Camp Lejeune between Aug. 1, 1953, and Dec. 31, 1987. The service member also must not have a dishonorable discharge in order to make a claim. Finally, the service member must have at least one of the following disorders:

  • Adult leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Parkinson’s disease

There are many service members who have developed these disorders after being stationed at or near Camp Lejeune from 1953 to 1987 who are now filing claims with the U.S. government. However, many of these individuals are wondering how these diseases may affect their families. Can a service member pass these diseases on to their children?

Can The Disorder Be inherited?

Developing a disorder and making a claim for yourself as an adult is one thing. However, there are many service members who have developed these disorders and now worry that their children may also develop these disorders later in life.

If the service member developed cancer from exposure to tainted water, cancer itself could not be passed down from parent to child. The genetic changes in cancer cells also cannot be inherited. However, when a genetic change increases the risk of cancer, this can be inherited from a parent if such change is present in the parent’s egg or sperm cell.

Studies have shown that although cancer itself cannot be passed down from parent to child, a child may inherit a faulty gene from a parent. Therefore, although a parent cannot pass cancer down to his or her child, the parent can pass down an increased risk of developing cancer later in life.

If the service member developed Parkinson’s disease, this also could not be direct passed down from parent to child. There are a number of genetic factors that can increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Researchers have not yet discovered, however, exactly how these genetic factors make one person more susceptible to the disease.

Parkinson’s disease can run in families as a result of faulty genes, but it is rare for Parkinson’s to be inherited in this way. There are some environmental factors that may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, but these factors cannot be inherited from parent to child.

Studies have shown that about 15% of those with Parkinson’s disease have a family history of the disease. This history can be the result of a genetic mutation. However, the studies say that the scientific community does not fully understand the interaction between family genes, gene mutations, and a person’s risk of developing the disease.

How Can I Learn More About The Susceptibility of My Children?

If you want to learn more about how these diseases may affect your children and future offspring, you should consult with a physician. The doctor can examine you, examine your children, and take a full medical and family history. Your doctor should also fill out a Camp Lejeune Family Member Program Treating Physician Report. This report will be required when and if you decide to see a Camp Lejeune water settlement claim.

Remember that the CLJA does not only cover the claims of service members but also covers claims from family members. If you think you may have a claim, you should request a free case evaluation. The legal process can be confusing, but an attorney might be able to help you and guide you in the right direction.

Action Matters is here to help. Contact us to see if you have a claim under the CLJA or if your family members may have a claim.