Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cancer Victim Blames Iraq Burn Pits for Illness

The Arizona Star reports that a cancer patient now blames her medical condition on her exposure in to the dust, fumes and other toxic emissions. She claims that she was poisoned by the combination of toxic substance that were ignited under the operation of the civil contractor KBR Inc. and its former corporate parent Halliburton.

Senior Airman Jullianne Showal is among 300 plaintiff in a pending lawsuit for damages against KBR Inc. and Halliburton for negligent operation of the waste disposal facilities.She is suffering from an aggressive form of lung cancer.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sick Veterans Sue KBR Over Iraq and Afghanistan Burn Pits


A lawsuit was filed alleging that KBR, Inc.
 endangered the health and safety of American soldiers in
Iraq and Afghanistan by exposing them to huge quantities of toxic 
dust, fumes and other air pollution by burning unsorted waste in vast 
open-air pits without any safety controls.

 

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in New Jersey by the law 
firm of Jon L.  Gelman LLC on behalf of two military veterans whose 
illnesses – which include respiratory disease, chronic cough,
 debilitating headaches, and neurological skin disorders – were
 allegedly caused by 24/7 hazardous emissions from burn pits.

 

KBR is accused of operating burn pits in such an unsafe manner that
 they permitted thick, noxious smoke emerging from the flames,
 sometimes colored blue or green by burning chemicals, to hang over US
 bases and camps across Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004.



According to the complaint, the burn pits are so large that tractors 
are used to push waste onto them and the flames shoot hundreds of feet
 into the sky. KBR allegedly burned waste such as biohazard materials
 including human corpses, medical supplies, paints, solvents, asbestos,
 items containing pesticides, animal carcasses, tires, lithium 
batteries, Styrofoam, wood, rubber, medical waste, large amounts of
 plastics, and even entire trucks.

 

Attorney Jon L. Gelman said, “it is alleged that KBR failed to follow
 prescribed safety protocols for the proper disposal of waste
 materials, and protect the health and safety of those soldiers serving
 in and about those areas. It was common knowledge that open-air 
incineration of toxic substances, including known carcinogens,
 endangered those individuals living in and about those areas. A
 company should not willfully disregard appropriate safety precautions 
and endanger US Solders heroically serving their country. 

The defendants are KBR, Inc., of Houston; Kellogg. Brown & Root LLC. 
of Austin, Texas; Kellogg, Brown & Root Services, Inc., of Houston; 
and Halliburton Company, of Houston. 

Attorney Contact: Jon L. Gelman, of Jon L. Gelman LLC, Wayne, NJ, 973.696.7900 or visit www.gelmans.com.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

VA Announces Some Infectious Diseases Associated With Gulf, Iraq & Afghanistan Exposures

The US Veterans Administration (VA) has announced that some diseases are presumptively related to military service exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan. Missing from the list yet are those disease associated with Burn Pit exposures.
The VA list includes:

-Brucellosis
-Campylobacter jejuni

-Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)-Malaria-Mycobacterium tuberculosis
-Nontyphoid Salmonella-Shigella
-Visceral leishmaniasis
-West Nile virus
The announcement was made in a 
press release from the VA. A final regulation will be published after the opportunity for comments are presented.  This announcement allows for eligibility for disability compensation.

Missing from the VA's list are diseases that have been reported by military veterans and contracts who have suffered from being exposed to the dust fumes and toxic air pollution from the the massive burn pits that were constructed by the major civilian contractors to the military. Those contractors include Halliburton and KRB. The massive burn pits, it has been alleged,  were utilized to unsafely dispose of combined toxic substance including: plastics, human body remains, medical waste, human waste and carcinogens such as asbestos, a known cause of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, and hexavalent chromium. Additionally it has been alleged that returning veterans and civilian contractor have also suffered: lung and throat cancers, blisters and deep ulcers, damage to the septum, skin allergy, asthma-like-allergy and kidney damage. Lawsuits have been filed seeking damages.

The VA's decision to list the diseases as related to exposures was based upon the 2006 report of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), entitled, "Gulf War and Health Volume 5: Infectious Diseases." Recently the Institute of Medicine (IOM) began health care studies concerning burn pit exposures.

The IOM plans to investigate:

"An IOM committee will determine the long term health effects of exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using the Balad Burn Pit in Iraq as an example, the committee will examine existing literature that has detailed the types of substances burned in the pits and their by-products, and examine the feasibility and design issues for an epidemiologic study of veterans exposed to the Balad burn pit.

The committee will explore the background on the use of burn pits in the military. Areas of interest to the committee might include but are not limited to investigating:

-Where burn pits are located, what is typically burned, and what are the by-products of burning;
-The frequency of use of burn pits and average burn times; and
-Whether the materials being burned at Balad are unique or similar to burn pits located elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Complaints Surge About Halliburton Sickening Burn Pits


A recent report in Mother Jones reveals that soldiers, exposed to the dust and fumes from burn pits, coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan, are reporting illness at record numbers. In the last 17 months more than 500 veterans have been in touch with Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and reported symptoms ranging from respiratory problems, rashes, kidney problems, asthma-like symptoms and blood disorders, including leukemia and death.

The US Military contracted with Halliburton's former subsidiary KRB to provide logistical support to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide safe waste disposal and drinking water. Lawsuits have been filed against the contractors seeking damages for their failure to carry out their duties properly. The veterans report that toxic substances, including asbestos, plastics, chromium, medical waste, and unexploded ordinance, were place in open pits and covered with jet fuel and ignited created a toxic cloud. Shoulders who were downwind from the belching toxic plume were exposed in the field, eating areas and housing units.

US Congressman Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) has called for legislation ending the use of burn pits and for the medical monitoring of those exposed. Bishop said, "....A glaring example of this recklessness is the use of burn pits to dispose of hazardous waste across Iraq and Afghanistan. A senior member of a U.S. Army environmental health assessment team called one of these burn pits 'the worst environmental site I have personally visited.'"

Click here to contact Jon Gelman by e-mail about burn pit claims or call 973-696-7988.

Click here to read more about burn pit exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.