Accession Number:



Deployment Pulmonary Health

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

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Defense Health Agency/Defense Health Board Falls Church United States

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Significant attention has been given to examining the association between exposure to potential inhalational hazards during deployment to Southwest Asia and possible adverse health outcomes. In 2006, a U.S. Air Force bioenvironmental engineer expressed concern in a memorandum that there is an acute health hazard for individuals and possible chronic health hazards associated with burn pit smoke at Joint Base Balad.1 A similar memorandum from a U.S. Army environmental science engineering officer summarized air quality over an eight-year period regarding particulate matter PM for Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. The results documented elevated levels of PM10 diameter less than 10 microns and PM2.5 diameter less than 2.5 microns and reported an air quality index considered unhealthy by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency EPA standards.2 The results of the Department of Defense DoD Enhanced Particulate Matter Surveillance Program EPMSP indicated that PM10 and PM2.5 levels exceeded the annual Military Exposure Guideline values of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine USACHPPM and World Health Organization guidelines at all sites tested.3 The results also showed that PM2.5 levels exceeded the U.S. EPAs annual and 24-hour standards at all locations sampled.3 Media coverage has also heightened concerns of Service members about hazardous exposures during deployment and possible development of pulmonary disease.4-6

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