Thursday, July 9, 2015

New VA Registry Report Finds Diseases Reported From Burn Pit Exposures

The US Veterans Administration reports, in a just released follow-up report, that veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are reporting increased pulmonary complaints, cancers and liver conditions. The Veterans participating in the voluntary survey were exposed to burn pit fumes and dust.  The data used in the study was obtained from the Burn Pit Registry.

  • 16% of the participants who worked at burn pits reported: COPD, chronic bronchitis or emphysema. 15% reported asthma.
  • 6% of the participants who had burn pit exposure reported a diagnosis of some type of cancer, and 4% reported that they were diagnosed with a non-melanoma skin cancer.
  • 8% of those were involved in burn pit duties reported a liver condition.
Eligible veterans participated in the Registry voluntarily were asked to complete an online self-assessment questionnaire. 

This report is the second in a series published by the VA. This report examines reported health conditions of veterans exposed to burn pits and dust storms. Of the 28,426 participants who completed the questionnaire by the end of 2014, 27,378 reported burn pit exposure.

The Burn Pit Registry was authorized on January 10, 2013 under Public Law 112-260 which required the establishment of a database for Veterans who may have been exposed to Burn Pits in a Iraq and Afghanistan. The purpose of the registry is to ascertain potential health effects from exposure to airborne environmental hazards, with the overall goal of improving outreach, communication, and the Veterans Health Administration programs for eligible Veterans.

Additionally a lawsuit is presently pending against the military contractors who operated the burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan under a contract with the US Military. The lawsuit alleges that the contractors operate the burn pits in a negligent fashion causing illness and disease to military personnel.

The case is a consolidated action under Federal Multi-District Litigation against government contractors, Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) and Halliburton, for alleged harm to military personnel and;; other individuals caused by exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. The burn pits were allegedly were used to dispose of material including medical waste, plastics, paints and pesticides.
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 1.973.696.7900 He has been representing Burn Pit victims and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Click here to read the complete report.

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