Sunday, May 29, 2011

Law Advances to Monitor Veterans for Illnesses

The US House of Representatives passed a measure in the National Defense Authorization bill that will assist those veterans who were possibly exposed to dust and fumes from burn pits. The law, now going to, the US Senate for consideration, requires the Secretary of Defense to submit reports to Congress on the health impacts on US troops who were to pollution from when waste is disposed of in open burn pits.

The law was sponsored by Congressman Adam Schiff from California. Congressman Schiff said, “The short and long term affects of exposure to toxins released from open-air burn pits have yet to be determined, but could be injuring the respiratory systems of our troops.” “This amendment will help to ensure the safety and health of our brave men and women in uniform who risk their lives each day as they serve and protect the nation.”

Under Rep. Schiff’s amendment, each health assessment report submitted to the Senate and House Committees on Armed Services will be required to include a description of short and long term health risks; methodology used to determine the health risks; and the assessment of the operational and health risks when making the determination to continue the use of open-air burn pits for waste disposal.

The US Senate will be reviewing the legislation. Recently, several US Senators Charles E. Schmer and Bill Nelson requested updated regulations to protect soldiers retuning from deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.