What Were Veterans Exposed to in the Gulf War?
I personally never served in the military. I have a certain respect for anyone who has served, and that respect has been increased tenfold since working in a firm that deals with VA Disability Compensation. The only real frames of reference I have for a place like Iraq are Veterans I talked to, and films. Way before I worked here I watched the film “Jarhead” in the theater. There is one particular scene that sticks out in which the main character has to remove human waste from a facility and set it on fire. I remember thinking that “they probably didn’t put that in a recruiting ad.” I also thought that it probably wasn’t healthy to inhale all of the fumes from that waste. I was right.
It turns out that this isn’t the only thing Veterans may have been exposed to in Iraq. (This blog will discuss exposure for veterans who served during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn March 19, 2003 – Dec. 15, 2011)
Sand, Dust and Particulates
Tiny airborne matter that can cause respiratory and other health problems
Open-air pit waste disposal at military sites
Nine infectious diseases associated with Southwest Asia and Afghanistan military service
Uranium used in military tank armor and some bullets
Toxic Embedded Fragments
Shrapnel and other metals that remain in the body after injury
Harmful sounds from guns, equipment, and machinery that is often experienced during military service
Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussions and brain injury often caused by explosions
Disease transmitted by bite or saliva from an infected warm-blooded animal
Mefloquine – Lariam®
Round, white pill taken to prevent and treat malaria
Possible health problems from extremely hot temperatures
Sulfur Fire (Al Mishraq, Iraq)
Sulfur plant burned almost a month in June 2003; large amounts of sulfur dioxide released into the air
Chromium (Qarmat Ali)
Hexavalent chromium in contaminated sodium dichromate dust; water treatment plant in 2003
Exposures from working with chemicals, paints, and machinery during service
Why is it important to know why you were exposed to certain chemicals and objects? It is possible that you may have certain health issues associated with these exposures. It is always important to be aware of this in case you start having health problems later on in life. If you would like to know more about this subject, or learn about what our firm can do for you, give our office a call today. 1-877-526-3457.