Burn pits were a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. Waste products in burn pits included chemicals, paint, medical and human waste and many other potentially toxic substances.

According to the VA’s own research, military personnel who worked at burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan have significantly higher rates of lung diseases like asthma, emphysema and some rare lung disorders. They also report higher incidences of other health problems like insomnia and high blood pressure, liver conditions, or difficulties with physical functions such as walking or climbing stairs. A database of 28 thousand service members reveals that troops who were exposed to multiple dust storms are also prone to suffering from similar medical issues.

Burning waste in open air pits can cause more pollution than controlled burning, such as in an incinerator. Veterans who were closer to burn pit smoke or exposed for longer periods may be at greater risk. Health effects depend on a number of other factors, such as the kind of waste that was burned and wind direction.

Because the VA has yet to acknowledge a definitive link between burn pits and any medical condition—despite the evidence, VA disability benefits can be difficult to win. If you are a veteran suffering from medical problems which you believe were caused by exposure to burn pits, don’t give up hope. These cases can be won. We can assist and advise you. Call us at Cuddigan Law.  We’ll schedule a free appointment to discuss your eligibility for compensation.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska