Over the course of many veterans’ times in the United States military, they may have been exposed to the toxic smoke from burn pits. These pits are often used by the military to dispose of just about everything, from regular garbage to discarded munitions and everything in between. Here are five things you need to know about burn pit exposure if you are a veteran:
- Burn pit exposure is common among overseas veterans
- While most veterans have likely been exposed to burn pits to some extent, it is more common among those who served overseas, where other forms of waste disposal were more difficult. People who served longer tours were also more likely to suffer from burn pit exposure. The longer a veteran is exposed to these pits, the higher the likelihood that they will have developed medical problems as a result.
- Burn pits can contain many toxic chemicals
- It is now commonly accepted wisdom that the smoke from burn pits can contain a number of highly toxic chemicals. These include chemicals that can potentially cause long-term health problems for those exposed to it, such as carcinogens that can increase the likelihood of developing cancer. However, the exact dangers posed by a burn pit are dependent on what, exactly, was being burned in them, meaning the effects can vary significantly from person to person.
- Burn pit exposure is more dangerous for people with preexisting conditions
- While these burn pits were potentially hazardous for anyone, those who have preexisting conditions are more likely to suffer negative health effects from exposure to burn pit smoke. This includes people with respiratory conditions like asthma, which can be aggravated by the smoke. This means that many people suffering from chronic medical issues may have seen them worsen after they completed their service.
- The health effects of burn pits were disputed for years
- For many years, the U.S. military disputed the idea that burn pits were bad for people’s health. This kept many veterans from being able to obtain benefits from disabilities that may be related to burn pit exposure. However, it has recently been acknowledged that the smoke from burn pits may be responsible for the negative health consequences that many veterans have suffered.
- You can be eligible for disability benefits due to burn pit exposure
- Thanks to the passage of the PACT Act, many veterans who were previously ineligible for disability benefits may now be able to obtain them. However, you may need help applying for these benefits, especially if it has been a long time since you served. That is why you should contact a lawyer with experience handling veterans disability claims, who can help you with your case.
The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.