N.C. (AP) — Drinking water contamination at North Carolina's sprawling
Camp Lejeune military base could date to 1948, five years earlier than
researchers had reported previously, a federal report indicates.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
plans to release a report Friday on the contamination that has led to a
long-running dispute between former residents and the Marines Corps.
an industrial solvent now known as a human carcinogen, likely first
exceeded the maximum contaminant level in August 1953, but evidence
shows its presence in the water supply might date as far back as
November 1948, the report states. A copy of the report was obtained
Thursday by The Associated Press.
"Basically, it's vindication and confirmation for what I've been saying for nearly 16 years," said retired Marine Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger, a leader in a protracted fight for information about the contamination. "The truth is finally coming out."
blames the contamination for the leukemia that killed his 9-year-old
daughter, Janey, in 1985. Marines and family members have blamed the
contamination for many kinds of cancers, including breast cancer in men
and women, bladder cancer and liver cancer.