Monday, March 10, 2014

New Study Associates Lung Injury of Soldiers With Exposure to Dust in Iraq and Afghanistan

Soldiers who have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are at greater risk to suffer lung disease according to a recently published study. Dr. Anthony Szema, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, was the lead investigator and reported the association of lung disease with deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"War-related lung injuries have emerged as previously unrecognized health problems. Physicians did not recognize the nature of illness in the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the last years of the IraqWar, as well as the ongoing Afghanistan war,new-onset lung problems have been increasingly recognized as being related to deployment in these two countries. Investigators, including our group, have identified asthmatic symptoms or pulmonary function test abnormalities. The Social Security Administration is now compensating for Iraq and Afghanistan war–related lung disease. The Millennium Cohort Study identified 14% of all US soldiers in raq with new-onset respiratory symptoms.

A Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that lawsuits filed by soldiers who were exposed in Iraq and Afghanistan may proceed against military contractors, KBR and Halliburton, from claims by military service members suing over health damage from the contractors’ burn pits. The lawsuits allege that the negligent operation of the burn pits resulted in harmful exposures that caused various illnesses to the soldiers including lug disease, cancers and in some cases death.

Click here to read the entire published study: Iraq Dust Is Respirable, Sharp, and Metal-Laden and Induces Lung Inflammation With Fibrosis in Mice via IL-2 Upregulation and Depletion of Regulatory T Cells, Anthony M. Szema, MD, Richard J. Reeder, PhD, Andrea D. Harrington, PhD, Millicent Schmidt, MS, Jingxuan Liu, MD, PhD, Marc Golightly, PhD, Todd Rueb, BS, and Sayyed A. Hamidi, MD, JOEM Volume 56, Number 3, March 2014, DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000119

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.
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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman jon@gelmans.com have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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