Marines: Military Should Have Told Us About Toxic Water

Cancer victims link disease to Lejeune
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2010 3:39 AM CDT
Marines: Military Should Have Told Us About Toxic Water
A sign is posted at an ongoing cleanup pump and treatment center at Camp Lejeune, to treat the underground plume of TCE, trichloroethylene, created by a waste disposal site on the Marine base.    (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Peter Devereaux is dying and he believes the military's failure to tell him he had been exposed to carcinogens at a North Carolina base could be to blame. The 48-year-old former Marine was stationed at Camp Lejeune in the '80s, when the camp's water supply was tainted with poisonous chemicals. The military was aware of the problem for decades but didn't notify him until 2008, when he had already been diagnosed with the cancer that has now spread through his body, Devereaux says.

Devereaux—who testified before Congress yesterday with two others— says he would have had regular cancer screenings if the military had told him about the contamination sooner, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The Marines knew about it and said nothing, knowing full well we were bathing in and drinking contaminated water on a daily basis," Devereaux said. "The water reports state that the wells were contaminated and action needed to be taken, and nothing was done." (More Camp Lejeune stories.)

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