Last night I went to a showing of Semper Fi, a shocking documentary about the families of Camp Lejeune who were literally poisoned by contaminated drinking water for 30 years. The reason this topic was of interest to me is because Camp Lejeune is in my state and I’ve been learning about the need for toxic chemicals legislation for years now through MomsRising.
Here are the basics of what happened:
Between 1957 – 1987 an estimated 750,000 to 1,000,000 people may have drank and bathed in tap water containing extremely high concentrations of toxic chemicals at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It is believed to be one of the largest water contamination incidents in US history.
Leaking underground storage tanks, industrial area spills, waste disposal sites and waste from an off-base dry cleaning business were identified as the sources of the contamination. The chemicals found in the water include benzene, vinyl chloride and trichloroethylene (TCE), three known human carcinogens, in addition perchloroethylene (PCE), a probable carcinogen.