Article of Interest: Military Burn Pit Exposures and the ‘Mystery Illness’ the VA Still Ignores

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share this important external article:

Military burn pit exposures and the ‘mystery illness’ the VA still ignores,” from The Hill.

According to a national survey of Gulf War-era veterans conducted by the VA, about 30 percent of the roughly 700,000 deployed military personnel met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) case definition of the enigmatic “multi-symptom illness.” That this was twice the rate reported among non-deployed veterans should have been an early red flag that illness was related to environmental exposures incurred while overseas. Importantly, rates of post-traumatic stress disorder were not systematically higher among Gulf War vets compared to soldiers deployed elsewhere, thus ruling out psychological factors for the majority.
Evidence suggests a key culprit to be military burn pits where medical waste, tires and other plastic-laden trash are set aflame and toxic air pollutants released. President Joe Biden himself implicated such pollution as possibly causing his son’s death.

Read the full article by Dr. Shahir Masri.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

Editor’s Note: Photo is from the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs.