Accession Number:

ADA592902

Title:

Identifying and Reducing Health Risks Associated with Open-Air Burn Pits

Descriptive Note:

Civilian research project

Corporate Author:

OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY (INSTALLATIONS ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT) WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2013-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

30.0

Abstract:

DOD maintains the evidence is inconclusive regarding whether exposure to burn pit emissions creates a long-term health risk for deployed personnel. Contrary to this position, several military professionals maintain the evidence is clear. An Air Force physician at Balad Air Base concurred with a 2006 memorandum and stated In my professional opinion, the known carcinogens and respiratory sensitizers released into the atmosphere by the burn pit present both an acute and a chronic health hazard to our troops and the local population. A 2011 memorandum from an Army Officer cited evidence that air quality on Bagram Air Field was unhealthy and concluded that the primary contributor was the burn pit. He also listed potential long-term health risks associated with long-term exposure to air conditions such as those found on Bagram. The 2011 memorandum led to a Congressional inquiry and passage of Public Law 112-260 directing the VA to establish an Open Air Burn Pit Registry. This paper will examine studies on exposure to open-air burn pits, look at the recent legislation and potential ramifications for the VA system, and will conclude with a review of technology that might be implemented to abolish open-air burn pits.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Air Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE