Veterans are beginning to speak openly about the toxic exposures they were subjected to at the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and the serious health problems that they now are experiencing. Organized groups of disabled veterans have called upon the military to address their concerns reports Daniel Zucchino in The Los Angeles Times.
The troops constructed massive burn pits to dispose of waste and burned medical waste, plastics, electrical components, oils, lubricants, paint, tires, dioxin, benzene, and many other toxic substances without any environmental controls. Congressman Timothy H. Bish (D-NY), who co-sponsored legislation prohibiting such activity indicated that the US Army is operating 84 burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Academies are holding hearing to study the long term consequences of these exposures,
Returning veterans are reporting alleging multiple medical conditions including respiratory illness and cancer, sometime fatal. Many soldiers and civilian contractors have been exposed to dust and fumes from the burn pits. Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of the veterans and civilian contracts who have been exposed.