2016 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Mon, 30 May 2016 01:23:23 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] HEALTH, GLOBAL: "Burn Pits: US Government Ignores 60, 000 Suffering US War Vets
Burn Pits: US Government Ignores 60,000 Suffering US War Vets

By Joseph Hickman
M<ay 29, 2016

There are over 60,000 U.S. veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who are now sick and dying. But the Pentagon denies there is such a health crisis, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is denying these suffering men and women the benefits they desperately need and deserve.

These veterans are not the victims of enemy fire. They are suffering from medical ailments associated with the open-air burn pits that were constructed on over 230 military bases across Iraq and Afghanistan. These fiery pits, which were hastily dug in violation of the military's own health and environmental regulations, were used to dispose of the mountains of trash created by war. Every type of refuse imaginable was thrown into these burn pits, including such toxic materials as plastics, metals, medical waste, batteries, tires, old ordnance and even human body parts.

The open-air burn pits were massive in size -- some as large as 10 acres -- and many were built in close proximity to where military members were housed. They burned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with each pit incinerating as much as 50 tons of trash a day. Soldiers stationed on these bases grew accustomed to the black plumes that filled the sky and the clouds of ash that sometimes enveloped them. The noxious pollutants wafted everywhere in these camps. In a desperate effort to block the foul-smelling fallout, some soldiers blocked the vents in their barracks with towels when they went to sleep, waking in the morning to see the once-white towels blackened with soot.


For the entire column, see


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

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