How serious is chemical or toxic exposure among military veterans?

During their military service, veterans may come into contact with toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials that have the potential to inflict serious injuries. Even though most toxic exposures are hard to spot, they can cause veterans serious health problems over time that may lead to death.

Various cases allow the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) to identify certain illnesses caused directly by military service. You can get help from veterans’ coaches to apply for chemical and toxic exposure claims, VA environmental exposure, or VA chemical exposure claims.

Currently, several health registries exist for veterans exposed to specific environmental hazards and chemical exposures such as agent orange, airborne hazards, drinking toxic water, ionizing radiation, and toxic embedded fragments are some of the most severe exposures that possess serious health issues and injuries.

Exposure to chemicals or hazardous materials

It is important to understand the type of chemical or hazardous material exposure associated with the location they serve. Knowing the location and the chemical exposure claims helps confirm presumptive conditions.

Agent Orange

It is a herbicide that is primarily used to clear plants and trees during wartime. Veterans that are exposed to this chemical served in the Vietnam War, which is situated in the Republic of Vietnam or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits

Waste and debris generated on American military and diplomatic bases abroad have long been disposed of in burn pits. They were extensively used, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. At different places where fighting was going on, there were more than 250 fire pits that put out a variety of air pollutants, including carcinogens and particulate matter.

‘Toxic Drinking Water’

Some veterans, reservists, and other members of the National Guard who served in North Carolina at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune or Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River may have drunk tainted water there, which has been scientifically linked to the development of certain illnesses.

Ionizing Radiation

You may be at risk for radiation-related diseases if you worked with or near nuclear weapons testing; were imprisoned in Japan; participated in the occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki after World War II; worked at a gaseous diffusion plant, or did certain other jobs.

Toxic Embedded Fragments

There are specific, particular dangers associated with some military occupational specialties that raise the possibility of exposure to harmful chemicals. Some of the dangers that could happen are being exposed to asbestos, chemical weapons agents, certain environmental risks in the air, water, or soil, and nuclear radiation.

These are just some of the possible chemical hazards or materials you may have come into contact with during service. Exposure to these chemicals can elicit various types of illnesses or injuries.

Types of illnesses and/or injuries you could get from exposure

Exposure to these chemicals fosters various types of illnesses and can create massive harmful effects. These are the illnesses and injuries that some veterans may face.

Agent Orange Related Illnesses

Agent Orange can cause cancer to those who are exposed. Some of the cancers caused by this exposure are Bladder Cancer, Chronic B-Cell Leukemia, Hodgkin’s Diseases, Multiple Myeloma, Prostate, and Respiratory Cancer.

Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits Related Illnesses 

Veterans who were exposed to the chemicals from burn pits and had no other known risk factors for cancer said they had unusual breathing problems, trouble sleeping, and tumors.

‘Toxic Drinking Water’ Related Illnesses

The most common diagnoses for illnesses related to toxic drinking water that veterans may have are: multiple myeloma, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer,non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, adult leukemia, aplastic anemia and other myelodysplastic syndromes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Ionizing Radiation-Related Illnesses

Illnesses of exposure to ionizing radiation include cancers of the bile ducts, colon, brain, bone, breast, esophagus, gallbladder, liver, and lung; pharynx, pancreas, ovary, salivary gland, thyroid, small intestine, stomach, urinary tract (urinary bladder, kidney/renal, pelvis, and urethra); leukemia; lymphomas (apart from Hodgkin’s disease); and multiple myeloma (cancer of plasma cells).

Toxic Embedded Fragments

There are no specific health issues that toxic embedded fragments are associated with. But they can cause serious injuries. One of these is that the fragment can release metal ions that can travel through the blood and hurt different parts of the body.

The VA grants a “presumption of exposure” to some veterans exposed to these harmful substances. This means that a veteran is assumed to have been exposed to a notably recognized toxin by virtue of the time and location of service—as confirmed by military records. However, not every veteran can say this. Veterans’ autoimmune diseases and ailments that are thought to be brought on by hazardous exposures have been the focus of DVA’s advocacy efforts.

Claiming your disability benefits

Claiming your VA disability benefits would be a tremendous help in achieving recovery, treatment, and compensation for serving our country. Over the years, VA disability benefits have assisted numerous veterans in submitting disability claims and opposing appeals to demonstrate service connection for ailments known or suspected to be connected to hazardous exposures. This aid includes a complete and in-depth examination of military medical records, gathering pertinent data, and, if required, providing free representation before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals.

If you are a veteran who never submitted a claim, or submitted a claim but was frustrated with the system, submitted a claim but was denied, or you need more detail information about VA disability ratings, Just4Veterans is here to guide you every step of the way. After your service to our country, it is now the time that WE SERVE YOU. If you have any further questions, please email us at [email protected].

DISCLAIMER : Just4Veterans LLC is NOT an accredited agent, attorney, entity or VSO recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is not affiliated with the VA in any way. Veterans shall prepare and file their own claim with an accredited representative, who may offer their services for FREE. Veterans may search for and appoint an accredited VSO.