Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Military and Veterans Health, Select Populations and Health Equity, Environmental Health
Board: Board on the Health of Select Populations

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Activity Description

An IOM committee will determine the long term health effects of exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using the Balad Burn Pit in Iraq as an example, the committee will examine existing literature that has detailed the types of substances burned in the pits and their by-products, and examine the feasibility and design issues for an epidemiologic study of veterans exposed to the Balad burn pit.

The committee will explore the background on the use of burn pits in the military. Areas of interest to the committee might include but are not limited to investigating:  

  • Where burn pits are located, what is typically burned, and what are the by-products of burning;
  • The frequency of use of burn pits and average burn times; and
  • Whether the materials being burned at Balad are unique or similar to burn pits located elsewhere in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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