Veteranclaims’s Blog

December 19, 2009

Burn Pit Possible Link Admitted by U.S. Military

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — veteranclaims @ 4:31 pm

While this is positive it falls way short of what is needed in these cases. Seems that they are setting up an out through genetic testing and smoking. Meaning that if you are a smoker or fall within some genetic test you may be found to not qualify for disability benefits.

Full Article at: Military: Burn pits could cause long-term damage to troops

“The Department of Defense found that the burn pits, which are used instead of incinerators on some bases and outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan, could cause effects in the short term — including irritated eyes and upper respiratory system problems — that can lead to persistent coughing. But the department said “it is less clear what other longer-term health effects [there] may be.”

“”Over time, we have come to recognize that certain individuals may be more susceptible to the effects of burn-pit smoke than others because of genetics and pre-existing health conditions and that some of these personnel may be at risk of more serious health effects following prolonged smoke exposure, and possibility to other inhalational exposures, such as tobacco smoke and possibly high levels of air borne particulate matter,” Postlewaite said this week in a statement provided to CNN.
Certain individuals may be more susceptible … because of genetics and pre-existing health conditions.

The military now suspects that exposure to burn-pit smoke combined with other factors — such as smoking, proximity to the pit, certain genetic factors or pre-existing conditions — could lead to longer-term effects.”

Full Article at: U.S. military cites burn pit-illness link

“A U.S. military official has acknowledged there might be a link between open-air burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and soldiers’ chronic ill health.

Dr. Craig Postlewaite, who serves as the U.S. military’s senior health protection official as the director of Force Health Protection and Readiness Programs, told Tuesday’s Salt Lake Tribune he’s been convinced of a link by the personal stories of veterans coming forward to report long-term health problems.

“We feel at this point in time that it’s quite plausible — in fact likely — that there are a small number of people that have been affected with longer-term health problems,” Postlewaite told the newspaper.

The Tribune said the admission comes only weeks after Postlewaite had defended the Pentagon’s position that smoke from open-pit burning had only “minor, temporary effects” on service members who inhaled the fumes.

A U.S. Air Force whistle-blower first raised alarms over the practice, in which toxins including arsenic, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide, were set ablaze in acres-large pits. Dozens of soldiers who served at the base have since reportedly suffered or died from rare forms of blood disorders and cancer, including leukemia.”

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