STUDY: Vets exposed to Camp Lejeune water face 70% higher Parkinson’s risk
JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A new study shows that veterans who have served at Camp Lejeune are more likely to face an unseen enemy - Parkinson’s Disease.
The study was published in the journal JAMA Neurology this week and shows that Marines who served at Camp Lejeune between 1975 and 1985 have a 70% greater chance of developing Parkinson’s than their counterparts at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California.
The reason for the increase? Researchers say it is due to drinking water contamination, specifically with Trichloroethylene, or TCE.
The new study looked at 340,000 Marine Corps veterans and Camp Pendleton, comparing health records in both groups between January 1997 and February 2021 to see how many in each group developed Parkinson’s as well as other diseases potentially linked to TCE.
The new study adds to a growing database of scientific evidence linking TCE-contaminated water exposure to Parkinson’s. Previous studies have shown that comparing twin groups have had a risk as high as 500% higher for Parkinson’s due to TCE contamination in drinking water.
In response to the new study, the Department of Veteran Affairs released the following statement:
“Parkinson’s disease is a presumptive condition for Veterans who were exposed to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. This means that when eligible Veterans apply for benefits, they do not need to prove that their service caused their Parkinson’s disease; instead, VA automatically assumes service connection for these Veterans and provides benefits accordingly. Additionally, thanks to the PACT Act, Veterans, and their families can now file lawsuits for harm caused by exposure to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. More information on this process can be found here.”
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