The purpose of the study was to determine whether potential exposures to the drinking water contaminants
at Camp Lejeune are associated with increased risk of death from specific cancers and other chronic diseases
among those who were employed at the base. The contaminants included trichloroethylene (TCE),
tetrachloroethlylene (also known as perchloroethylene or PCE), benzene, and two contaminants that are formed
when TCE or PCE degrade in ground water: 1,2-dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride.
The study evaluated specific causes of death in 4,647 full-time workers who were employed at Camp Lejeune
during 1973-19851 . We also evaluated a comparison group of 4,690 full-time workers who were employed at
Camp Pendleton during 1973-1985 but were not employed at Camp Lejeune during this period.
The Camp Pendleton workers were not exposed to contaminated drinking water.
Cause of death data from 1979-2008 were used to study the Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton cohorts.
Information on causes of death was obtained from the National Death Index (NDI) of the National Center for Health
Statistics. The study included all underlying causes of death that other studies have shown to be associated with
one or more of the chemicals found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Causes of death were selected based on
literature reviews conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Toxicology Program (NTP),
the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).