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Wounded Warrior Project Supports Introduction of Toxic Exposure Legislation

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) applauds the recent introduction of S.927 and H.R.2127 Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act, sponsored by Senators Thom Tillis and Maggie Hassan, and Representative Mike Bost.

For nearly two decades, post-9/11 veterans have been exposed to contaminants such as burn pits, toxic fragments, radiation, and other hazardous materials on deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Now, many of them are experiencing severe, rare, and early-onset health conditions.  Since these illnesses often do not manifest until years after discharge, many veterans struggle to obtain health care and benefits from the Department of Affairs (VA) in connection with these conditions.

This legislation will expand health care eligibility and create a framework for establishing presumptive service connection for all military toxic exposures, now and in the future.

Read the Senate and House versions of this legislation.

The TEAM Act will:

  • Expand VA health care eligibility to all veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during military service.
  • Establish an independent commission to research the health effects of all military toxic exposures and report its findings to VA and Congress.
  • Require VA to enter into an agreement with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct scientific studies regarding the association between illnesses and toxic exposures.
  • Require VA to respond to scientific evidence of association within an established timeframe.
  • Create a toxic exposures questionnaire to be administered during VA primary care visits.
  • Improve training for VA personnel on toxic exposure-related conditions.

"Wounded Warrior Project believes that veterans of all eras who suffered toxic exposures deserve access to lifesaving health care and a system that requires VA to respond to scientific data in a timely, transparent manner," said WWP Government Affairs Specialist Aleks Morosky. "This forward-thinking legislation would set those standards for all military toxic exposures, now and in the future. We are proud to endorse the TEAM Act and stand alongside Senators Tillis and Hassan, and Representative Bost in their commitment to this urgent issue."

Learn more about WWP's other legislative priorities and how we work with our nation's leaders to improve the lives of wounded veterans and their families.

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers — helping them achieve their highest ambition. Learn more.

 

SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project

For further information: Mattison Brooks, Communications Specialist, mbrooks@woundedwarriorproject.org, 202.969.1120