In Iraq and Afghanistan, burn pits were used to destroy garbage at hundreds of military bases. During the course of the two wars, burn pits consumed everything from metal, solvents, petroleum, human waste, Styrofoam, batteries, and medical waste.
After living in close proximity to a burn pit, many veterans have reported long-term respriatory and cardiopulmonary health problems they believe are directly linked to the airborne contaminents created by this waste-disposal method.
As of 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that they have found no evidence of long-term health issues resulting from exposure to burn pits. Reactions to the burn pits are currently believed to be accute and temporary in nature, predominantly resulting in irriation of the eyes, throat, and skin, as well as difficulty breathing.
However, with a growing number of veterans filing for VA disability compensation for injuries possibly linked to the pits, the VA has developed an action plan to better research the issue and change the status of veterans diagnosed with this type of service-connected injury as necessary.
Burn Pit Registry
A law signed on January 10th, 2013, requires the VA to build a registry of qualifying veterans as a way to better track health issues related to burn pits. It will also keep veterans informed about new research and treatment methods. The registry will be available within the year.
If you are a veteran concerned about burn pit exposure, talk to your doctor or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
If you are a veteran dealing with the aftermath of environmental contaminant exposure, talk to one of the compassionate Texas VA benefits attorneys at Morgan & Weisbrod. Call 877-898-1581today. We offer a free consultation to discuss your situation and answer any questions you may have.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.