Five Health Issues Associated with Burn Pit Exposure

Five Health Issues Associated with Burn Pit Exposure

In areas such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and others, options for ridding our military bases of waste and trash are limited.  Unfortunately, this has led to the use of burn pits.  Burn pits are large, shallow pits in which various types of trash, human waste, biomedical waste, etc. are disposed.  As can be imagined, these burn pits produce toxic byproducts and noxious smoke to which our service members are exposed on a constant basis. Often, the negative effects these burn pits have on service members’ health are often not recognized until they begin to fall ill.  Many who were exposed to burn pits overseas have been found to suffer from:

  1. Ongoing cough and respiratory issues – this includes irritation to the throat, as service members were continually breathing in the fumes. These issues can be worse for those who were in closer proximity to the burn pits, and do have the potential to be lasting, but often this can be even worse due to the dust in areas such as Afghanistan and Iraq. In terms of burn pit exposure, asthma has been reported along with complications such as constrictive bronchiolitis and emphysema;
  2. Cardiovascular issues – to include high blood pressure and more serious heart conditions;
  3. Gastrointestinal disorders – these include cramps and symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, as well as other issues like ulcers and vomiting;
  4. Rare cancers – to include leukemia and more.
  5. Rashes—to include numerous skin irritations that may cause discomfort and itching.

You can submit health concerns and document your exposure in VA’s Open Burn Pit Registry if you were deployed to the Southwest Asia theatre of operations on or after August 2, 1990.  This includes during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and/or Operation New Dawn; Djibouti, Africa on or after September 11, 2001; and Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  So far, over 90,000 veterans have applied since 2014.  If you are a veteran working to file a claim for disability benefits or want to file an appeal and need to speak with an attorney, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick.

For immediate help, call 401-331-6300 or contact us online.

Category: Veterans Law

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