Public Health Activities
ATSDR completed the following public health activities:
- Conducted a public health assessment of Camp Lejeune in 1997,
- Completed a study in 1998 on adverse pregnancy outcomes of mothers exposed to VOC-contaminated drinking water, and
- Held telephone interviews with parents of children who were carried or conceived at Camp Lejeune from 1968-1985.
In 2005 ATSDR began a full study of specific birth defects and childhood cancers in children born to mothers who lived on base any time during their pregnancies from 1968-1985.
Health Studies FAQs
Reports and Studies
Birth Defects and Childhood Cancers Study
The current study is entitled Exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Specific Birth Defects and Childhood Cancers, United States Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Interviews of parents started in April 2005. The study will try to determine if children exposed to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in utero any time from 1968-1985 had specific health effects.
Final plans: Contaminated Drinking Water and Health Effects at Marine Base Camp Lejeune, August 2009 [PDF, 550 KB]
This document considers the recommendations and evaluations from several expert panels and external reports and defines ATSDR's plans for completing our research activities at Camp Lejeune.
An Assessment of the Feasibility of Conducting Future Epidemiological Studies at USMC Base Camp Lejeune [PDF, 543 KB]
ATSDR is planning to conduct a mortality study and a health questionnaire survey of active duty personnel, dependents, and civilian employees who were at the base during the period of drinking water contamination. Information on these proposed studies can be found in the report.
Survey of Childhood Cancers and Birth Defects at USMC Camp Lejeune (1999-2002)
The survey was part of a multi-step process to study the potential health effects of in-utero exposure to the chemicals found in drinking water at Camp Lejeune. Telephone surveys were conducted with parents of 12,598 children born to women who were pregnant while living in on-base housing at Camp Lejeune any time from 1968-1985. Parents were asked if the child had a birth defect or developed a childhood cancer. The survey is now complete. A total of 103 potential cases were reported. Next, ATSDR confirmed the children's health problems by asking parents who said their children had health problems of interest for access to their child's health records. The records were reviewed and ATSDR is now ready to conduct a full study. The study will include all confirmed cases of the birth defects and childhood cancers of interest.
1998 Study on Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
In 1998 a study titled Volatile Organic Compounds in Drinking Water and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes was conducted to determine if there was a link between mothers who were exposed to contaminated drinking water supplies from Camp Lejeune and infants who were small for gestational age (SGA). The study also looked at preterm birth and lower birth weight babies. The study showed that exposure to VOC-contaminated drinking water was linked with higher risk for SGA among male infants. Exposure to VOC-contaminated drinking water was also linked with SGA and lower birth weight among infants born to subgroups of the mothers.