From: The Honorable Elizabeth H. Esty
Sent By: Michael.Carlo@mail.house.gov
Date: 3/2/2016

Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits

Cosponsor H.R. 2237, the Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act

Endorsed by: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Sergeant Sullivan Center,

American Lung Association, American Thoracic Society, Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis

 

Dear Colleague,

We invite you to become a cosponsor of the Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act. When our servicemen and women are called upon to serve our nation in combat, they do so at tremendous risk to their health and safety. While much attention is rightly paid to the visible wounds of war, our veterans also suffer from numerous less visible conditions that result from exposure to the environmental hazards found in war zones.

Military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are exposed to a variety of potentially harmful substances including the smoke produced from the burning of waste on military bases. Items such as plastics, aerosol cans, electronic equipment, human waste, metal containers, tires, and batteries are thrown into open pits, sometimes doused with jet fuel, and set ablaze. Smoke from these open-air burn pits can waft throughout the entire base and even into living areas. Health effects from exposure to chemicals found in burn pits can include cancer, neurological effects, reproductive effects, respiratory toxicity, and cardiovascular toxicity.

The Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act would create a center of excellence within the Department of Veterans Affairs in the prevention, diagnosis, mitigation, treatment, and rehabilitation of health conditions relating to exposure to burn pits. With an increasing number of our brave men and women returning home citing illnesses potentially caused by burn pits exposure, it’s clear that greater attention is needed to get our veterans the care that they need.

To cosponsor or request further information, please contact Michael Carlo in Rep. Esty’s office at Michael.Carlo@mail.house.gov or 5-4476.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth H. Esty                                                        Peter T. King

Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress