U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, located in eastern North Carolina, is a large installation that covers 156,000 acres and is home at any given time to a population of about 170,000 active-duty personnel, family members, retirees, and civilian employees living on base or in the surrounding community. Between 1957 and 1987, the ground water at Camp Lejeune was inadvertently contaminated with chemicals, primarily industrial solvents that are now known to cause cancer and other health problems. In 1980, drinking water contaminants, primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), as well as other solvents, were first detected at Camp Lejeune in treated drinking water. The contaminated wells were closed in 1987. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed Camp Lejeune on the National Priorities List, also known as Superfund. It is estimated that between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people may have used the contaminated water and many of them continue to have concerns about the long-term effects that might result from that exposure.
In 2012 Congress passed the Honoring America's Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. The law provides health benefits to veterans and family members who have any of 15 health outcomes associated with exposure to TCE, PCE, or solvent mixtures. At the request of the Veteran's Administration, Review of the VA Guidance for the Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation reviews the latest scientific literature to ensure that the clinical guidance provided for the 15 covered medical conditions is scientifically sound. This report also describes the medical conditions that result from renal toxicity due to solvent exposures and characterizes neurobehavioral effects as mandated for coverage in the law.
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