Blog Post

The Impact Of Exposure To Toxic Chemicals

Examining The Impact Of Exposure To Toxic Chemicals On Veterans

On September 29, 2015, Congress held an oversight hearing held to examine the impact of exposure to toxic chemicals.  Particularly the many veterans exposed to Agent Orange.  During the Vietnam War and water contamination at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Oversight hearings review or study a law, issue, or an activity. These kinds of hearings focus on the quality of federal programs and/or the performance of government officials.

The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.) stressed the importance of having a standardized, scientific approach at the VA. And to use this approach to determine which veterans should receive disability benefits based on their exposure to toxic chemicals. Also, the hearing examined efforts to expand disability benefits for veterans who served in ships offshore Vietnam, also known as the “Blue Water Navy Veterans.”

Tragedy at Camp Lejeune

The recent oversight hearing re-examined the contamination of the water supply at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. From 1953-1987, Camp Lejeune residents were exposed to poisoned water. The poisoned water was from industrial dumping on the base.  And also contamination from a dry cleaner off the base. This thirty four year event has been called the worst incident of environmental exposure in our nation’s history. Hundreds of thousands of servicemembers, their families, and civilian workers drank and bathed in poisoned water. Water exposed to a mix of cancer causing chemicals. One tragic case, was the death of a 9 year old girl, Janey Ensminger, who was born on the base. Once metabolized, the chemicals in the water could cause birth defects and increased risk of multiple cancers.

The Janey Ensminger Act

Congress passed The Janey Ensminger Act.  Then the President signed the legislation in 2012.  But the law is unfamiliar to many.  Many commonly refer to the legislation as Janey’s Law.  They named the Act in honor of Master Sergeant Ensminger’s late daughter. It has provided much needed and overdue medical relief to veterans and eligible family members seeking health care for cancers and conditions associated with toxic exposures at Camp Lejeune.

Janey’s Law was based on scientific findings required by a Congressionally mandated review. Within the VA there just wasn’t the expertise or the resources to explore the science of toxic exposures. The government studies on Lejeune were conducted by the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, ATSDR, and are based on test results from water samples taken at Lejeune over successive years. The studies show some of the highest levels of recorded toxins in any U.S. water system and it reached the taps in houses, barracks, and offices.

Exposed To Toxic Chemicals?

Veterans may be eligible for benefits. If you tried to claim these benefits but were denied. Then the Veteran Appeal Lawyer can assist you with your appeal to secure your benefits. So call us at 800-861-7262. Because we are here to help you.

This article is for educational and marketing purposes only. Consequently it does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Related Posts