Open-air burn pits are full of toxins and dangerous. How many more of our heroes must get sick and die before the atrocities are banned. And why isn’t the media covering this. These toxic deathtraps should be at the top of our list. Not enough is being done and the government is negligent when it comes to the health of our troops.
AIR FORCE TIMES
“Thirty-two members of the House of Representatives signed a letter Friday imploring the Senate to include an amendment in the final version of the 2010 defense authorization bill to restrict the military’s operation of open-air burn pits for waste disposal in the war zones.
‘Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and service members are becoming sick and even dying from what appears to be overexposure to dangerous toxins produced by open-air burn pits used to destroy large quantities of waste,’ the letter states, citing reports by Military Times. ‘We urge you to support this provision, which will begin protecting our service members from these dangers.’
At Joint Base Balad, the largest U.S. installation in Iraq, the burn pit sprawls over 10 acres. Most bases — even the smallest — in Iraq and Afghanistan also have burn pits. Military morbidity reports show that annual cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which usually hits older smokers, have gone up by 10,000 in the military health system since 2001.
More than 400 service members have contacted Disabled American Veterans to report cancers and respiratory illnesses they believe came from burn-pit exposure since Military Times first reported the story last year.
The amendment to the 2010 defense authorization bill passed by the House would prohibit the disposal of hazardous waste in open-air burn pits for longer than 12 months during a contingency operation. It also would require the secretary of defense to submit a report on the use of burn pits and what alternatives are available.
The amendment ‘was strongly endorsed by the American Legion, disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Military Officers Association of America, National Guard Association of the United States, Veterans and Military Families for Progress, and Veterans of Foreign Wars,’ the letter states. ‘Several of these organizations expressed concern when they learned that the provision might not be retained and have alerted their members across the country.’
Signers include Tim Bishop, D-N.Y.; Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.; Bob Filner, D-Calif.; and 28 other Democrats. Republican Reps. Ron Paul of Texas and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington also are co-sponsors.
More information on burn pits can be found here.”
VAWatchdog.org has been following this travesty from the beginning. See related articles below.
Other related articles
BILL WOULD ONLY ‘CURB’ WAR ZONE BURN PITS, NOT BAN THEM (09-14-09) House puts half-way measure in defense budget which would allow burn pits to continue operation.
WIDOW JOINS BURN PIT LAWSUIT (06-28-09) The wife of a soldier who died from a brain tumor after being exposed to smoke from burn pits in Iraq joined more than a dozen Florida soldiers in a class-action lawsuit.
HOUSE VOTES TO LIMIT IRAQ BURN PITS (06-26-09) ‘We should not continue to recklessly use burn pits to dispose of hazardous waste across Iraq and Afghanistan.’
MORE VETERANS SUE KBR OVER IRAQ BURN PITS (06-13-09) Claim KBR burned human corpses, biohazards, Styrofoam, tires, lithium batteries, asbestos, paint, pesticides and latrine waste.
POLS WANT REGULATION OF IRAQ BURN PITS (06-12-09) ‘Disturbing reports are coming to light everyday about these burn pits and the toll they are taking on the health of many of our service men and women.’
POLS WANT GAO TO ANALYZE IRAQ BURN PIT DATA (05-28-09) And, Veterans’ Advocate Jim Strickland offers advice to vets who may have been exposed to toxins from Iraq burn pits.
GIs, VETS SUE KBR OVER TOXIC BURN PITS (04-29-09) Claim KBR jeopardized the health of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by burning vast quantities of unsorted waste in enormous burn pits.
UPDATE: DoD WITHHOLDS BURN PIT RESEARCH DATA FROM CONGRESS MEMBERS (04-01-09) Independent scientists cite ‘significant danger’ from Iraq burn pits, but DoD holds back needed data.
VA SEC. SHINSEKI PROMISES TO MONITOR IRAQ BURN PIT EXPOSURE DATA (03-18-09) Scientists will review surveys ‘which ask about exposure to smoke from burn pits, subsequent symptoms, and a variety of other health-related questions.’
CONGRESSMEN DEMAND MORE INFO FROM DoD ON ‘BURN PIT’ CLAIMS (02-27-09 Are asking for data from the military about tumor rates to see if a pattern of problems can be ascertained.
WIDOW WINS VA BENEFITS BUT STILL WANTS ANSWERS ON HUSBAND’S DEATH (02-18-09) Was it toxins from the burn pits in Iraq that caused the brain tumor that killed Kevin Wilkins?
BURN PITS IN IRAQ EXPOSE TROOPS TO DEADLY TOXINS (WITH VIDEO) (12-13-08) Widow has launched a one-woman campaign to find out whether her husband’s contact with the smoke from burn pits was the reason for his brain tumor.
REPORT: AKAKA WANTS DoD AND VA TO REVIEW WAR-ZONE TOXINS (12-02-08) Army Times reports Senate Vets’ Chair wants answers on burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The following articles are part of a series appearing in the Military Times newspapers.
VA to monitor burn-pit exposure data (03-18-09)
Troops air complaints about burn pits (11-27-08)
Burn pit fallout (11-16-08)
Letters — What the troops say about the burn pits (11-15-08)
Senator wants answers on dangers of burn pits (11-09-08)
Editorial — Pentagon must recognize burn-pit health hazards (11-03-08)
Burn pit at Balad raises health concerns (10-29-08)