Exposure to contaminants or other environmental hazards is a major health issue for post-9/11 veterans. Many warriors who were exposed have developed cancers, autoimmune disorders, skin diseases, respiratory illnesses, and other conditions.
As of August 2020, there are more than 200,000 veterans enrolled in the VA’s Burn Pit Registry – all of whom served on or after 9/11 and were deployed to a base or station where open burn pits were used.
And it’s not just burn pits causing these illnesses and injuries – some who have fallen ill have reported being exposed to chemicals found in fire-fighting fluids, depleted uranium shells, engine fumes, and more. For those seeking treatment for these illnesses and toxic exposure sustained during their military service, the largest barrier for utilizing VA health systems is establishing a service-connected disability.