The Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group in Washington, recently testified before the Senate about 42 sites identified as “cancer clusters” scattered across 13 states. Cancer clusters are identified when an unusual incidence of cancer is concentrated in a specific area, and is usually tied to contamination or pollutants. The well water at Camp Lejeune was found contaminated with a variety of toxic chemicals known to cause cancer, including benzene, vinyl chloride, and trichloroethylene.
To date, more than 60 Marines or family members who lived at Camp Lejeune have been diagnosed with male breast cancer, a very rare occurrence. There has also been a marked rise of birth defects in the area. It can be difficult to pinpoint a specific cause of a spike in cancer incidence given the number of chemicals used commonly in every household, and critics are quick to point out that some clusters may be statistical anomalies. Environmentalists believe that the federal government owes it to the people residing in places where there are elevated levels of cancer to find out why.
To read more about this story, please visit: News & Observer