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Press Release: Agency to Release Camp Lejeune Children's Health Survey Progress Report
(Release # 0716-03-1512)
Jun. 16, 2003

United States Marine Corps
Division of Public Affairs

HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS - The Marine Corps has been actively assisting the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to conduct a two-phase, independent epidemiological study to determine whether there may be an association between solvents found in the drinking water at Camp Lejeune in the early 1980's and certain childhood conditions.

Today, the ATSDR released a progress report for a survey of former Camp Lejeune residents, the first phase of the two-phase study. The 35-question survey, conducted by ATSDR from September 1999 until February 2002, identifies potential cases of specific childhood conditions among children born to women who became pregnant while living in base housing at Camp Lejeune from 1968 through 1985. The ATSDR reported that it surveyed 12,598 eligible participants and identified 103 possible cases of childhood cancers and birth defects warranting confirmation and follow-on study.

The Marine Corps deeply cares about the health and well-being of our Marine Corps Family, said Lieutenant General Richard Kelly, Deputy Commandant for Installations and Logistics. The welfare of our active and retired Marines and sailors, civilians, and their families will continue to be our priority. The Marine Corps supported the survey and will actively facilitate any follow-on study."The Marine Corps assisted the ATSDR with the survey by launching a worldwide public outreach campaign to contact former residents of Camp Lejeune.

The ATSDR's work focuses on two volatile organic compounds (VOCs), perchloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE), often used in dry cleaning or as degreasers. In 1982, routine water sampling at Camp Lejeune revealed that drinking water supplied to some Camp Lejeune family homes may have contained these VOCs, which came from an off-base dry cleaning business and on-base industrial operations. When the base confirmed that the chemicals were in certain wells, they were shut down.

For more information about the content and conduct of the survey, please call the ATSDR at (888) 42-ATSDR, ext. 5132. If you have additional questions, the Marine Corps has also established a toll free number (877) 261-9782 and website:

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