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Do volatile organic compounds in water cause non hodgkin lymphoma?

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Posted on Fri, 11 Jul 2014
Question: hi, I was stationed at Camp Lejeune NC 1977-79 when the ATSDR "estimates that drinking water from the Hadnot Point water treatment plant exceeded the current maximum contaminant levels (MCL) for one or more VOC's from august 1953-1985..." the voc's were TCE, PCE trans 1,2-dichloroethylene vinyl chloride and benzene. The highest concentration was during the time I was there. In your medical opinion do you feel that my NHL was more than likely caused by the VOC's in the drinking water?
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Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Yes, more likely your NHL is due to VCOs in water.

Detailed Answer:
Hello Madam!

I read carefully your query and understand your concerns.
Thank you for all reports attached ,they were very useful in providing valuable information.

As I read in the report ,the result of the drinking water analysis was that this water was contaminated with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and their level exceeded the the maximum contaminant level (is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water).

Volatile Organic Compounds identified in the drinking water are Carcinogenic,which means that they can cause cancer in humans who are exposed to them.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is caused by a change (mutation) in the DNA of white blood cells called lymphocytes, although the exact reason why this happens is not known.

Some studies have suggested that chemicals such as benzene and certain herbicides and insecticides (weed- and insect-killing substances) may be linked with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

So considering 3 facts:
-You have been exposed for 2 years to high levels of VOCs (which is a considerable time)
-VOCs are known to be Carcinogenic
-It is known that a possible cause for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is repetitive exposure to certain chemicals including VOCs.

I can tell that it is more likely that your NHL is related with VOCs exposure in drinking water.
I can't tell you that this is 100 % sure because the exact etiology of NHL is not known yet but I don't think that your NHL and the exposure to VCOs is just a coincidence.

Hope it answered your query.
If you have any other question,please feel free to write me,I will be happy to help.

Best Regards!

Dr.Rovena Murati


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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Do volatile organic compounds in water cause non hodgkin lymphoma?

Brief Answer: Yes, more likely your NHL is due to VCOs in water. Detailed Answer: Hello Madam! I read carefully your query and understand your concerns. Thank you for all reports attached ,they were very useful in providing valuable information. As I read in the report ,the result of the drinking water analysis was that this water was contaminated with VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and their level exceeded the the maximum contaminant level (is the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water). Volatile Organic Compounds identified in the drinking water are Carcinogenic,which means that they can cause cancer in humans who are exposed to them. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is caused by a change (mutation) in the DNA of white blood cells called lymphocytes, although the exact reason why this happens is not known. Some studies have suggested that chemicals such as benzene and certain herbicides and insecticides (weed- and insect-killing substances) may be linked with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. So considering 3 facts: -You have been exposed for 2 years to high levels of VOCs (which is a considerable time) -VOCs are known to be Carcinogenic -It is known that a possible cause for Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is repetitive exposure to certain chemicals including VOCs. I can tell that it is more likely that your NHL is related with VOCs exposure in drinking water. I can't tell you that this is 100 % sure because the exact etiology of NHL is not known yet but I don't think that your NHL and the exposure to VCOs is just a coincidence. Hope it answered your query. If you have any other question,please feel free to write me,I will be happy to help. Best Regards! Dr.Rovena Murati