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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR study examines possible link between Marines’ male breast cancer and exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune


Jacksonville, North Carolina

Monday, September 21, 2015

ATLANTA—Results from a study conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) suggest that male breast cancer might be associated with being stationed at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in North Carolina and military housing exposure to the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) perchloroethylene (PCE), t-1, 2 dichloroethylene (DCE), and vinyl chloride in drinking water at the base. However, the findings of this study were based on small numbers of cases, and modeled levels of exposure, so should be interpreted with caution.

According to the study which appears in the journal Environmental Health, the risk of male breast cancer increased slightly with being stationed at Camp Lejeune and higher levels of exposure to PCE. The findings also suggested that exposures to trichloroethylene (TCE), PCE, DCE, and vinyl chloride while stationed at the base might have accelerated the onset of male breast cancer.

The study included 444 male Marines who were born before Jan. 1, 1969, and diagnosed with or treated for certain forms of cancer at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility between Jan. 1, 1995, and May 5, 2013. The study identified 71 men with breast cancer; 30 of the men were stationed at Camp Lejeune at some point during their service.

The results of this study add to the scientific literature on the health effects of exposures to these chemicals in drinking water. To gather more information, ATSDR intends to evaluate male breast cancer in a planned cancer incidence study that will involve state cancer registries nationwide as well as federal cancer registries. ATSDR will begin working with state and federal cancer registries in 2016.

The full report is available at: http://www.ehjournal.net/content/14/1/74.

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ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related News Releases For Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA

 

Federal agency to discuss Camp Lejeune health activities at public meetings on January 21
Release Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2017
(Atlanta)-- The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) invites the public to hear from the scientists who conducted public health activities to understand the impact of exposure to contaminated drinking water at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The scientists will discuss these public health activities during a 5 p.m. special session, followed by a public meeting at 6 p.m. on January 21, 2017, in Jacksonville, NC. The Community Assistance Panel (CAP) meeting also will take place on January 21 at 9:00 a.m.; that meeting is also open to the public. Representatives from the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will be present at the meetings to answer questions about the VA programs for those exposed at Camp Lejeune.

ATSDR Public Health Assessment Finds No Health Hazard From Contaminants at Naval Air Station Jacksonville
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Naval Air Station Jacksonville Contaminants Are Not A Public Health Hazard
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NCEH/ATSDR To Host Meeting To Determine Need For Additional Studies at U.S. Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Release Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2004
The Office of Science of the National Center for Environmental Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (NCEH/ATSDR) will convene an expert panel to explore opportunities for conducting additional human health studies of people previously exposed to contaminated drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The panel will also provide scientific input on the feasibility and usefulness of conducting these studies. The meeting will be held Feb. 17 and 18, 2005, and will be open to the public.

Survey of Childhood Cancers and Birth Defects at USMC Camp Lejeune, NC, 1968-1985
Release Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2003
The Progress Report on the Camp Lejeune, NC water contamination survey has been released. A follow-on study to review the medical records of 103 cases of specific birth defects and childhood cancers and a water modeling study are planned.

ATSDR Releases Naval Air Station-Cecil Field Health Assessment For Public Review and Comment
Release Date: Monday, July 9, 2001
ATSDR announced today the availability of the public comment version of its health assessment for the Naval Air Station-Cecil Field, in Jacksonville, Florida.

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