July 26, 2010
Military burn pits investigated by CBS news
CBS News investigates open-air burn pits on U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, focusing on the many former soldiers and personnel who are reporting chronic and even fatal illnesses that they attribute to exposure to burn pit smoke during their service abroad. Everything from military equipment and medical supplies to batteries and hazardous waste has allegedly been burned in these pits, and hundreds of servicemen and women have recently filed a class action lawsuit against the defense contractors alleged to be responsible for the burn pits.
On June, 23, 2010, the American Lung Association went before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense to urge the government to ban open-air burn pits on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan due to the "health effects of burning refuse." The Veterans Affairs Department has also launched a study to investigate the potential long-term effects of burn pit exposure.