July 1, 2010
Burn pit study reports respiratory illnesses higher near Balad burn pit
In a report soon to be published in July 2010's Allergy and Asthma Proceedings, nearly seven percent of returning soldiers who worked at Balad Air Base in Iraq show signs of serious lung injuries, a number far above the percentage of troops serving stateside, that may be linked to burn pit exposure during service. These injuries include acute respiratory illnesses, asthma and lung damage. Burn pit waste disposal systems have been a frequent source of controversy for the potential risk that they pose to the health of soldiers and military personnel.
The report comes days after the American Lung Association encouraged the government to immediately shut down burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, stating that their emissions contain known and suspected carcinogens and other dangerous chemicals.