Two drinking water systems at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina were contaminated with solvents during 1950s-1985.
We conducted a retrospective cohort mortality study of Marine and Naval personnel who began service during 1975-1985 and were stationed at Camp Lejeune or Camp Pendleton, California during this period. Camp Pendleton's drinking water was uncontaminated. Mortality follow-up was 1979-2008. Standardized Mortality Ratios were calculated using U.S. mortality rates as reference. We used survival analysis to compare mortality rates between Camp Lejeune (N = 154,932) and Camp Pendleton (N = 154,969) cohorts and assess effects of cumulative exposures to contaminants within the Camp Lejeune cohort. Models estimated monthly contaminant levels at residences. Confidence intervals (CIs) indicated precision of effect estimates.
The study found elevated HRs at Camp Lejeune for several causes of death including cancers of the kidney, liver, esophagus, cervix, multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma and ALS. CIs were wide for most HRs.