Burn Pit Exposure
VA reported in June that more than 77,000 vets have joined its registry to document their exposure to burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, Djibouti and Southwest Asia. VA’s ‘Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry’ encourages those vets to complete a self-assessment questionnaire in order to gather information about health effects from the exposure.
During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars alone, the military used open-air pits at an estimated 250 sites to dispose of such things as medical waste, human feces, Styrofoam, dead animals, plastic, chemicals and other forms of trash. Now banned, the pits, using jet fuel as an accelerant, released toxic fumes that vets say are making them sick or, in some cases, killing them.
Based on Defense Department data, VA says that some 3.5 million vets could be eligible to participate in its registry. VA says the accompanying questionnaire takes about 40 minutes to complete.
For more information, including instructions on how to sign up for the registry, visit