Members of the Armed Forces are often deployed to regions of the world where waste disposal is not as advanced as it is in the U.S. For those veterans who were stationed in combat theatres abroad, open burn pits were commonly used to dispose of just about everything from common waste to human feces. Unfortunately, many veterans who experienced burn pit exposure are now suffering from severe health complications—though the extent and severity is somewhat in dispute at this time. The Orange County Register recently reported one veteran calling the problem the “New Agent Orange.” Sadly, theresearch is still ongoing, and answers may still be a long way away for some.
Where The Burn Pits Were Located
Burn pits have been used in many locations. Here are some of the locations where theU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has already determined burned pits were in use since 1990:
- Saudi Arabia
- Gulf of Aden
- Gulf of Oman
- United Arab Emirates
Health Problems Associated With Burn Pits
Although the long-term effects of burn pit exposure are still not fully understood, exposure to the by-products of combustible materials and particles in the air can be linked to pulmonary conditions, respiratory issues, headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, skin irritations, and even some types of cancer.
Government Working To Understand The Problem
The VA maintains that the research is inconclusive regarding the connection between burn pit exposure and many of the common illnesses veterans experience following exposure. On October 31, 2011, the federal government released a study entitled, “Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
This study declared that while there was potential “suggestive evidence” of a connection between burn pits and certain types of conditions, there was insufficient evidence to create a true causal link. Now the VA and Department of Defense (DOD) are working together to study a cohort of registered veterans as part of a long-term mission of determining whether such a connection can actually be made.
Burn Pit Registry
The VA has created a burn pit registry to compile evidence and symptoms of veterans suffering from conditions potentially related to burn pit exposure. There are a few potential benefits of signing up with the registry:
- Chance to discuss your case and get a health screening
- Learn more about your health condition relating to burn pit exposure
- Preserve your claim and help build your argument that the condition is service-connected
- Helps all veterans by contributing to the data that will hopefully shed light on this issue for decades to come
Hire A VA Accredited Attorney
If you suspect that you have developed a serious illness due to your military service, whether from a burn pit or an injury, you need to consult with an experienced attorney who understands VA law and can help build your case and present it. VA backlogs and delays can take years, so it makes sense to talk to an experienced VA-accredited attorney. Don’t take chances that could cause you even more delays.
Contact the Klok Law Firm, LLC today for a free and thorough case evaluation.