Victory for Lejeune toxic water victims - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Victory for Lejeune toxic water victims

For Wilmington resident Terry Dyer, and other people who say they're victims of water contamination at Camp Lejeune, the findings of a panel of scientists are welcome news.

"There are so many people who don't know about this and they were appalled at that. They were appalled about the amount of time it took to do the studies and they were appalled at the lack of notification," says Dyer.

The panel recommends, for the first time, a comprehensive study of all people who lived at Camp Lejeune from 1968 to 1985, to find out how many were affected, and how it damaged their health.

The source of the contamination was dry cleaning solvent that leaked into wells on base.

"We got a lot of poison in our bodies over a long period of time. So they really believe that this needs to be quick. This has gone on for much too long," says Dyer.

The panel also believes Congress should fund future studies, instead of the Defense Department, to avoid a conflict of interest.

Senator Richard Burr says it may take time for that to happen.

"This is like any other government process, it doesn't move very quickly, but we'll work hard to hold everybody's feet to the fire to be accountable for any contamination and any health effects that might cause," says Sen. Burr.

If the panel recommendations are accepted, studies could begin as soon as later this year. Dyer says that's a long-awaited step toward finding out how many people were poisoned by Camp Lejeune's water.

Dyer is encouraging victims to come forward. You can find information on the web site established for those who were harmed by contaminated water on the base at www.watersurvivors.com.

Reported by Samuel King

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