Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Increased Respiratory and Cardiovascular Conditions Reported from Burn Pit Exposures

A recent study reports a higher incidence of breathing and heart medical conditions are suffered by soldiers who have been exposure to air pollution caused by burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Burn pits were allegedly used to dispose of all types of waste during the Iraq [Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)] and Afghanistan [Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)] wars.


The purpose of the study was to determine how burn pit emissions exposure is associated with the incidence of respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. The researchers studied geographical locations of burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan that were used for disposal of waste, and self-reported burn pit exposures and those veterans reporting respiratory and cardiovascular medical problems in the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

The research observed, "We found significant dose-response associations for higher risk of self-reported emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with increased days of deployment within 2 miles of selected burn pits (P-trend = 0.01) and self-reported burn pit smoke exposure (P-trend = 0.0005)."

A consolidated lawsuit is now proceeding in the US District Court against KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root), a government contractor. The lawsuit alleges that KBR exposed, American service members and private civilian contract workers, to dangerous and toxic fumes from its unauthorized use of open-air surface burn pits. The exposed individuals and their families brought a lawsuit against KBR for its allegedly improper use of the burn pits and for failing to warn veterans and civilians of the hazards of being exposed.

The cases allege that prolonged exposure to the burn pits' smoke, ash, and fumes that may have resulted in chronic diseases, a risk of future illness and death. The lawsuit alleges that KBR burned large amounts of unsorted waste, including hazardous waste, medical waste, and human waste, at military facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cases In re KBR Inc, Burn Pit Litigation, have been consolidated, and are venued in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt Division, before Judge Roger W. Titus.

Click here to read more about burn pit claims for benefits and lawsuits.

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