The USA Today reports that some soldiers who were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are being studied for medical conditions related to their exposure to toxins that may have been present in the war zones. The ill soldiers are being studied for the presence of microscopic particles that they may have been inhaled while overseas resulting in various illnesses including respiratory conditions and the early onset of cancer.
"Bob Miller, a pulmonologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, worked with 101st Airborne soldiers at Fort Campbell, Ky., after they complained of being short of breath and unable to run as fast as they had before they deployed. ...Many had been exposed to a sulfur fire in Mosul, Iraq. They also had been exposed to burn pits — the military disposes of trash at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning as much as 240 tons of it a day in open pits. All of them came through chest X-rays and CT scans with clean bills of health. The soldiers volunteered for a procedure to obtain lung cell samples, and when Miller examined the biopsies, 50 of 54 showed constrictive bronchiolitis — a rare lung disease that closes the tiniest airways."
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