May 7, 2010
Department of Veterans Affairs addresses burn pits and environmental hazards in combat zones
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently distributed to all regional VA offices a 30-page training letter detailing a new policy for the offices to use when determining benefits for veterans who have been exposed to environmental hazards while on duty. Among the environmental hazards named are the burn pits used for waste disposal on military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. The letter is entitled "Environmental Hazards in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Military Installations" and marks the first time in VA history that the department has acknowledged and addressed potentially hazardous environmental exposures facing troops in combat zones.