Friday, September 25, 2009

Government Denies Care To Cancer Stricken Veterans

Can you say, 'preview of things to come?'

"My wife would hug me, and it became almost unbearable," he said. "I went to a doctor, and they sent me to the oncologist, and they did biopsies on both sides. And then I ended up with a double mastectomy."

Kelly is one of 20 retired U.S. Marines or sons of Marines who once lived at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and who are now suffering from breast cancer, a disease that strikes about one man for every 100 women who get it.

Wait... 20 retired U.S. Marines or immediate family members who lived at Camp Lejeune now have breast cancer? That's a pretty freaky coincidence, no?

All 20 fear that water contaminated with high levels of toxic chemicals may have caused their illnesses, but the Marine Corps says no link has been found between the contamination and their diseases. Without that link, the men are denied treatment by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which says it can't treat them for a condition that hasn't been shown to have been "service-related."

Huh. So, the same government agency which would be forced to spend millions of dollars in care for these individuals cannot find a link between water contamination, contamination which the military does not dispute, and the cases of cancer. Why, I'm completely shocked by that!

Kelly said his VA representative told him, "It's not the VA's problem, it's the Marine Corps' problem."

And Peter Devereaux, who was stationed at Camp Lejeune in the early 1980s, was told in writing that his breast cancer "neither occurred in nor was caused by service."

One Government Agency pointing at another, neither of which claim responsibility. Shocking.

The men with breast cancer are among about 1,600 retired Marines and Camp Lejeune residents who have filed claims against the federal government. According to congressional investigators, they are seeking nearly $34 billion in compensation for health problems they say stemmed from drinking water at the base that was contaminated with several toxic chemicals, including some the federal government has classified as known or potential cancer-causing agents.

20 cases is coincidence, 1600 cases of disease caused by contaminated wells is indisputable.

In 1980, the Navy hired experts to test for trihalomethanes, a byproduct from chlorination, in the base tap water. The experts reported that some of the base tap water was "highly contaminated," according to a test report.

In 1981, the lab again found "water highly contaminated" -- and added the word "solvents," with an exclamation point. In August 1982, the experts found one sample with levels of trichloroethylene, a degreaser believed to cause cancer, of 1,400 parts per billion. Today's EPA safe level for the substance is five parts per billion.

"We've never seen 1,400 parts per billion of trichloroethylene, so that is very high," said Frank Bove, an epidemiologist with the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

I believe this is what's referred to as a 'smoking gun.'

But it would take until late 1984 and early 1985 for the Corps to begin widespread testing of wells on the base and shutting down ones that had been polluted. In addition to trichloroethylene, chemicals eventually identified in the drinking water included benzene, which the federal government identifies as a known cancer-causing agent; and the dry-cleaning solvent perchloroethylene, a suspected carcinogen.

The Marine Corps said two independent studies have found no link between water contamination and later illnesses. And in a statement to CNN, the Marine Corps wrote, "Once impacted wells were identified, they were promptly removed from service."

Let's see, the contamination was discovered in 1980 and reaffirmed in 1981 and the wells were shut down in late 1984? Hell, by Government standards that qualifies as "promptly removed from service."

A fact-finding panel created by the Corps in 2004 ruled that officials acted properly and that the water was "consistent with general industry practices" at the time. And investigations by the Bush administration's Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency found no criminal conduct by Marine Corps officials and no violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Ah HA! Now we get to the nut of it! It was all Bush's fault. Bastard...

Two years ago, Congress ordered the Marine Corps to notify all Marines and their families who might have been exposed -- an estimated 500,000 people. The Marines say they have worked with environmental and health agencies "from the beginning" to determine whether the contamination resulted in any illness, and "this collaboration continues to the present day."

"I think if cancer of the breast in men or other kinds of cancer have been linked to this exposure, that we ought to know about that," said Richard Clapp, a nationally recognized epidemiologist who has studied clusters of cancer cases at toxic sites. "The families deserve that. The veterans themselves should know about that, and they should be compensated if the link can be made."

But for now, there is no proven link -- just Marines and their families who say they are suffering.

I'm ready to turn over my health care decisions to the government! Who's with me?!

Please take the time to comment!

0 People Have Had Their Say:


I Am Classicaliberal And You Should, Too!. Copyright 2009-2010 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com Background Image Courtesy bama287