|Today's post is shared from theatlanticwire.com|
Many American troops were injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars not by bombs or bullets, but by something seemingly innocuous: getting rid of trash. The American military dumped garbage — human waste, dead animals, paper, plastic, electronics, batteries, asbestos, whatever — into huge pits and set it all on fire with jet fuel. The particles the burn pits spewed are causing lung problems for some troops, according to an investigative report by The Verge's Katie Drummond. This despite long-standing military policy and environmental recommendations to avoid using burn pits.
Movie-goers might remember the poop-burning scene from Jarhead, but these trash piles don't just consist of human waste, the Verge reports. Drummond explains, "The military’s burn pits emitted particulate matter laced with heavy metals and toxins — like sulfur dioxide, arsenic, dioxins, and hydrochloric acid — that are linked to serious health ailments." They sent black soot high into the air, as the GIF at right, taken from an Iraq video posted on YouTube, demonstrates.