By Ethan Cohen, Law Clerk at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP
A new study published in JAMA Neurology on May 15, 2023, found that the risk of contracting Parkinson’s disease was 70% higher among military service members who were stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina when compared with veterans stationed at a different Marine Corps base where the water was not contaminated.
The research team examined around 160,000 military service veterans, over half of whom served at Camp Lejeune, and were found to be predisposed to Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease, the research team found there to be a greater prevalence of prodromal Parkinson’s symptoms among the Camp Lejeune veterans.
These symptoms include:
- Loss of sense of smell
- Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder (RBD)
The above-listed symptoms can be early indicators of Parkinson’s disease.
Dangerously High Levels of TCE Found in Camp Lejeune Water
The study’s findings suggest that exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing substance that was found in the Camp Lejeune water wells, may also increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set the maximum safe level for TCE in drinking water at five parts per billion. The water at Camp Lejeune had a dangerously high level of 1400 parts per billion, hundreds of times higher than the established maximum safe limit.
The recently published JAMA study builds upon prior research and confirms other medical studies that have linked exposure to TCE to the development of Parkinson’s disease. These researchers call for greater protection from contaminated water sites and the banning of TCE as a cleaning agent in the United States.
Contact Our Firm Today
If you or a loved one has been impacted by the water contamination at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, please contact the experienced New York attorneys of Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo, & Plotkin LLP for a free consultation today.