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May-05-2008 20:46TweetFollow @OregonNews
Marine Death Camp: Camp Lejeune Trichlorethylene - the CulpritDr. Phil Leveque Salem-News.com
Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician, Toxicologist and Pharmacologist. He is an expert in medical marijuana treatment.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - Very few people including those who lived on the Marine Corp's Camp Lejeune facility knew or know that it is a toxic (lethal) waste dump.
The first person to contact Salem-News.com over the story is Candy Little, whose husband in 1970, was a 24-year old Marine stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
After what seemed like a healthy and normal pregnancy, their daughter was stillborn. The alleged cause of death was intra uterine asphyxia placental insufficiency, but it was not. Shortly after that, her husband George was diagnosed with Lymphocitic Leukemia, cancer of the blood and bone marrow, what is often known as a child's disease. He died at the age of 25.
This is one of thousands of similar stories that have a couple of things in common: one is Camp Lejeune, another is contact with a substance known commonly as TCE that is used to clean aircraft parts, it is a degreasing agent, and a real killer as it turns out. The Camp Lejeune story could just be the tip of the iceberg unfortunately.
You may ask yourself, how does a Cannabis/marijuana physician know anything about this? My first profession was a Forensic Toxicologist, and I have testified in court over 400 times, I still do on occasion. When I was trained in the 1950's, I was one of the best trained Toxicologists in the country. I was backed up with degrees in Chemistry, Biochemistry, minors in Physiology and Toxicology and a doctorate in Pharmacology. I was the Toxicologist for Portland, Oregon when I was a Ph.D. candidate in medical school.
I had probably the first D.D.T. human poisoning case and the first to recognize 2-4 D, the weed killing poisoning in 1952. I may have had the first Trichlorethylene (TCE) lethal poisoning case in 1975.
The chlorinated hydrocarbons mentioned above have a long history in medicine and unfortunately their toxic sequella. Chloroform was the first. It was a good general anesthetic but if used more than a few times it destroyed the liver and caused death.
Some of the compounds were used as vermifuges against intestinal worms. If used wrong they caused death.
A highly chlorinated hydrocarbon DDT is the most prominent of this type of chemical. It was synthesized in Switzerland around 1940 and thought to be toxic for insects but safe for mammals. By 1962 it was recognized as a highly toxic substance to animals.
After Chloroform was found to be toxic, many other similar chemicals were tried for anesthesia including Trichlorethylene (TCE) and its cousin Perchlorethylene (PCE). All chlorinated chemicals were found to be too toxic and lethal for any human use.
Their action was to combine with body fats including brain nerves and other cells, but it was found toxic also to the liver and kidneys and can cause a variety of cancers, which is exactly what has happened to so many Marines and others who spent time around Camp Lejeune have learned.
A standard handbook of Toxic Chemicals by Sittig in 1981 gives this about Trichlorethylene based on U.S. government publications: (1) "it causes irritation to eyes, nose & throat. (It smells sweet, has a burning taste and causes dermatitis) (2) It depresses the central nervous (brain and nerves) (3) it causes cancer of the liver with metastes to the lungs and probably all over the body (4) it attacks the heart, liver, kidneys, CNS, (brain) and skin and (infants and fetuses) are very susceptible to severe harm by these chemicals. It is not surprising to me that many infants were stillborn or died soon at Camp Lejeune over the years and yet the people were kept in the dark. The chemical has probably destroyed their brains and they cannot survive outside the uterus.
Apparently these toxic and lethal effects gave been known since the mid-1950's but Trichlorethylene, a degreasing and cleaning agent for airplane engines, etc. has continued for years.
Not only is Camp Lejeune a toxic waste dump, but so is the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station near Irvine, California and many if not all other military aviation bases.
TCE acute poisoning is much like the flu but obviously it can and did have many lethal effects. Marines and their families and civilian workers who may have had contact with deadly chemicals at Camp Lejeune have not been notified by the U.S. government but there is a law firm in Tennessee that is looking at the case as a possible class action lawsuit. If you are a Marine who was stationed there or lived nearby, write to us and we will forward your email to both a group that is working to bring awareness of the problem, and to the attorneys with the class action litigation so your name is on the list. Contact Tim King in the newsroom at email@example.com and add Camp Lejeune to the subject line.
I guess Marines are expendable after all.
Editor's note: Advocates working on the case say it is very important that the Marines stationed at Camp Lejeune register to be part of the survey.
Marines and family members and civilian employees based at Camp Lejeune can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 261-9782. They can also call the ATSDR at (888) 422-8737. They say it is important to do it this way instead of the Marine Corps Website, because they have a "routine blanket use" which means they can check your background and they will use anything you may have done to exclude you from any compensation.
Got a question or comment for Dr. Leveque?
Email him: Newsroom@Salem-News.com
More information on the history of Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of Phil Leveque about his experiences in WWII.
Order the book by mail by following this link: Dogface Soldier.
If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
Watch for more streaming video question and answer segments about medical marijuana with Bonnie King and Dr. Phil Leveque.
Click on this link for other articles and video segments about PTSD and medical marijuana on Salem-News.com: Dr. Leveque INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES
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