Originally Posted By: ALEX FREEDMAN Eyewitness News 9
Published: September 30, 2011
Updated: September 30, 2011 – 6:25 PM
EPA Report: Trichloroethylene causes cancer, found in drinking water | Eyewitness News 9.
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EPA Report: Trichloroethylene causes cancer, found in drinking water.
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – A toxic chemical found to be in drinking water at Camp Lejeune back in the eighties is linked to cancer.[justify]
It’s a story that Nine on Your Side has been investigating for years. Some people have been waiting on this study for 20 years – during which time – have developed cancer after drinking tap water at Camp Lejeune.
A total of 2,900 claims have been filed in relation to health problems and drinking the toxic tap water. Claims now backed by a federal agency.
“The EPA’s change in designation of TCE from a probably carcinogen to a known carcinogen will not change our approach to Camp Lejeune historical drinking water,” said Capt. Kendra Hardesty, spokeswoman for Camp Lejeune.
It’s toxic drinking water believed to contain Tricholorethylene or TCE, now proven by the environment protection agency to be linked to cancer characterizing TCE as “carcinogenic to humans.”
Between the 1950s and 1980s people who lived on base at Camp Lejeune, drank and even breathed in the chemical.
Reports say it leaked from tanks at the Hadnot Point fuel farm and into underground drinking water.
The EPA going as far as to say movement of TCE from the soil to drinking water and finally to the air is a “serious concern.”
“We’re still supporting the scientific organizations because we want to find answers as much as they do,” said Hardesty.
It’s a search for answers coming 20 years after the first victims like retired Marine Jerry Ensminger started to come forward. A slow process, he says, but a step forward nonetheless.
“This has taken 20 plus years to get this one risk assessment on this one chemical out. 20 plus years,” said Ensminger.
Camp Lejeune along with the Navy are doing their own research on the water contamination, but still maintain that the drinking water on base meets all the EPA standards.
“Well I want the Marine Corp and the Department of the Navy to step up to the plate and live up to their rhetoric. I want them to truly take care of their own,” said Ensminger.
Ensminger blames the Department of Defense for, what he says, is trying to hide what is being considered the largest recorded environmental incident on a domestic Department of Defense installation.
Now that the truth is out about TCE, Ensminger hopes the estimated 750,000 people who may have been exposed to the carcinogen between the 1950s and 1980s will get the compensation he says they deserve.
In a statement from Senator Richard Burr released Friday, he says, “While this is an important step towards providing care for those who suffer adverse health effects resulting from exposure to toxic water at Camp Lejeune, we still have a long way to go.”
Burr potentially referring to his Caring for Veterans Act, meant to provid that compensation, but has now all but disappeared in congress bureaucracy.
To read the full EPA summary of the assessment, enter the keywords: TCE Report right here on WNCT.com.
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