Accession Number:



Waste Management: DOD Needs to Fully Assess the Health Risks of Burn Pits

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Burn pits help base commanders manage waste generated by U.S. forces overseas, but they also produce harmful emissions that military and other health professionals believe may result in chronic health effects for those exposed. This statement provides information on the extent to which DOD has assessed any health risks of burn pit use. This statement is based on a GAO report issued in September 2016 GAO-16-781. The report was conducted in response to section 313 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. Buck McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. Specifically, GAO assessed the methodology DOD used in conducting a review of the compliance of the military departments and combatant commands with DOD instructions governing the use of burn pits in contingency operations and the adequacy of a DOD report for the defense committees. GAO also obtained updates from DOD on actions taken to assess health risks from burn pits since September 2016.


Subject Categories:

  • Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]