2015 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:06:10 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] HEALTH, GLOBAL: "DOD ignored troop health risks, continued to burn trash in Afghanistan"
Watchdog: DOD ignored troop health risks, continued to burn trash in Afghanistan

By Heath Druzin
Stars and Stripes
February 12, 2015

The U.S. military knowingly put troops’ health at risk and wasted tens of millions of dollars on shoddy contracts while operating dangerous open-air burn pits in Afghanistan, according to a report from the government’s top watchdog there.

“Although DOD knew about the risks associated with open-air burn pits long before contingency operations began in Afghanistan, it was not until 2009 that U.S. Central Command developed policies and procedures to guide solid waste management, including requirements for operating, monitoring, and minimizing the use of open-air burn bits,” according to a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

It’s still unclear how many troops were sickened by burn pits but their widespread use in Iraq and Afghanistan — sometimes against Central Command’s own directives — means related illnesses could represent the latest health crisis for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, with echoes of Agent Orange in Vietnam. Many troops who say they were downwind from the smoke from base burn pits have reported a wide range of maladies, including severe respiratory problems.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650-961-8918 or 650-969-1545
Fax: 650-961-8918

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