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INSTITUTE INDEX: Some justice at last for poisoned Marines

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Date on which the U.S. House of Representatives followed the Senate's lead and approved the Janey Ensminger Act to help Marines and family members sickened by contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina: 7/31/2012

Age of Janey Ensminger when she died of a rare form of leukemia in 1985, triggering a quest for justice by her father, retired Marine Jerry Ensminger (in photo with Janey), who following the bill's passage said his daughter "made more of a change in this world through her death than most people make in their entire lives": 9

Time period covered by the bill, which will provide health care to military personnel and their family members who suffer from a contamination-associated illness and lived or worked at the base for at least 30 days: 1957-1987

Year in which legislation to aid Camp Lejeune residents was first introduced by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.): 2009

Year in which U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), who sponsored companion legislation to Burr's in the House, launched a congressional investigation into the contamination and its coverup: 2010

Number of Department of Defense documents related to the Lejeune case released last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee, adding to the evidence that military officials covered up information about the contamination for years: more than 8,500

Number of people who health officials believe may have been exposed to the base's contaminated drinking water, which was tainted with dangerous levels of toxic chemicals including solvents, benzene and vinyl chloride: 1 million

Rank of the Lejeune case among the worst cases of drinking-water contamination in U.S. history, according to leaders of House and Senate veterans affairs committees: 1

Number of times that the concentration of some of the contaminants exceeded acceptable levels set by the Safe Drinking Water Act: 280

Number of years that passed between the time tests first suggested the presence of contaminants and when base officials shut down 10 wells: more than 4

Year in which the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, issued a report that claimed cancer in people exposed to the water was unlikely: 1997

Year in which the ATSDR withdrew the report after coming under increasing pressure to acknowledge it was flawed: 2009

Minimum number of men who lived at Camp Lejeune and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is relatively rare in men: 77

Age of Steve Martin, who attended a day care center at Lejeune that was built on the site of a former pesticide-mixing facility, when he underwent a double mastectomy: 18

Number of years that retired Marine Frank Rackowitz, who has been diagnosed with terminal kidney cancer, lived at Lejeune: 9

Date on which the claim he filed with the Veterans Administration to designate his cancer as a service-related illness was approved: 2/22/2012

Extra money each month his wife, Ruth, will get in survivor benefits as a result of that decision: $1,100

Percent of such claims the VA has denied, saying service at Lejeune could not be linked to "any subsequent development of particular diseases": 75

Number of similar cases that were still pending as of May of this year: 1,200

(Click on figure to go to source. Photo of Jerry and Janey Ensminger courtesy of the Ensminger family. To learn more about the case, visit the website of The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten.)
 

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Camp LeJune water poisonings

I am very happy to hear that this issue is finally being resolved to compensate the victims who have suffered and died as a result of the contaminated water. I would now like to see the issue of asbestos exposure on Ft. Bragg, NC addressed. In recent years, post officials have been quietly tearing down billets, mess halls and the NCO CLUB, because of the discovery of asbestos...Actually they knew all along that the ceilings were asbestos bearing but as the number of workers and soldiers who were diagnosed with meseothilioma increased steadily; it is believed that rather than have yo pay large claims, they removed the building or refurbished them. Not addressing the damage already done. I was a soldier who lived and worked in those now refurbished buildings for years. While I have not yet been diagnosed with mesothilioma, I have been diagnosed with mystery illness'. I know there are others like myself out there. Please come forward, your voice can help change many lives.
J. Spears

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