VA Compensates Widow For Husband’s Toxic Exposure

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Board of Veterans’ Appeal awarded the widow of a deceased marine compensation for an uncommon cause. Her husband’s death was due to his exposure to toxic materials while in military service. The Marine was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, California between 1968 and 1971. His widow was compensated because his progressive small lymphocytic lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia was directly related to his exposure to toxic materials while stationed at El Toro.

For at least part of his time at El Toro, the Marine’s job was to transfer and deliver hazardous materials. The Marine was also constantly exposed to hazardous pollution from burning landfills. The VA found the exposure to the toxic and hazardous materials was “more than likely” responsible for the Veteran’s developing his leukemia and lymphoma. Ultimately, the VA found the veteran had been exposed to:

  • Benzene;
  • Aromatic amines; and
  • Other toxic materials.

El Toro contained four landfills that burned hazardous materials that included industrial solvents, fuels, and waste. The Environmental Protection Agency placed El Toro on its National Priorities list of locations containing hazardous waste requiring cleanup.

El Toro’s groundwater has since been tested and has been found to contain Trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) among other contaminants. El Toro veterans are beginning to come forward and reporting serious health problems, likely due to their exposure to such carcinogens.

El Toro hosted thousands of soldiers and their families between 1968 and 1971. Given the amount and level of toxic materials El Toro has housed, the VA may have a very expensive problem on their hands.

If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.