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Were You Affected by Toxic Exposure of the Burn Pits?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

During the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, bases opened to house military members and were vast enough that they had to dispose of their own waste. As a result, burn pits were created and ignited with jet fuel to incinerate everything from human waste to industrial trash quickly. However, this method caused a toxic cloud of smoke to loom over the bases, which when combined with the sweltering heat in the middle east, created unbearable work conditions for the soldiers.

Military personnel were assigned to the 119 burn pits that existed during these wars.  Immediate dangers to the assigned personnel included, but were not limited to skin burns, eye irritation and nausea. As military members returned home, many began to feel the lasting effects of their work in and around the burn pits. Respiratory illness has been reported among many who have returned, and they have even reported to coughing up “black junk”. Other symptoms of working in the burn pits have been reported as brain fog, gastrointestinal issues, and even rare cancers.

The Veteran Administration (VA) started to recognize that more military personnel were becoming ill as a result of these burn pits and created the VA Airborne Hazard and Open Burn Pit Registry.  As of January 7, 2019, nearly 166,000 veterans have become part of this registry.

However, many military personnel were turned away from care they needed by the VA, as a result of being misdiagnosed. A study conducted by Augusta University in Georgia found the more exposure a military member had to the burn pits, the more likely he or she was to develop cancers or other ailments. The authors of the study worked along with a veteran advocacy group, Burn Pit 360, founded by Rosie Lopez, after her husband was told by the VA that his burn pit lung issues were psychosomatic. Lopez knew that she had to create an organization that conclude a link between burn pits and fatal illnesses.

The data collected from Burn Pit 360 includes the ages, bases, and symptoms that military members have experienced and how many of those have become ill and died as a result of their illness. More data will also help, as the VA does not track mortality as a result of burn pits.

Not enough is being done to provide adequate care to these victims who are now suffering with lung disease or toxic brain injuries as a result of burn pits. If you or your loved ones has become ill as the result of a burn pit, contact the lawyers at Turley, Redmond, Rosasco, and Rosasco at 855-280-7585 to learn about your options.

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