Burn Pits and the VA
The Rep for Vets® has added an article about burn pits to the website. Burn pits, used extensively in the Gulf Wars as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan until about 2009, are open-air garbage dumps that were burned using jet fuel. There has been concern from active duty military, veterans and veterans’ advocacy groups that almost constant exposure to the smoke from burn pits has resulted in an increased incidence of diseases, especially conditions that affect the respiratory system.
Although the military was slow to acknowledge that exposure to burn pits caused anything more serious than irritation, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently initiated a Burn Pit Registry that provides a way to track the health of active duty military personnel and veterans who were exposed to burn pits.
Almost everything that could be found in military installations wound up in burn pits – vehicles, medical waste, rubber, wood, plastic, food, dead animals, human body parts, batteries, unexploded ordinance and more. Because the pits burned at a relatively low temperature, the resulting smoke was full of particulates. After the military switched to using high-temperature incinerators, the particulate levels in burn pit smoke declined.
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Read more here:: The Rep for Vets – VA Benefits Blog