Long awaited, the Department of Veterans Affairs recently and relatively silently launched its airborne hazards and burn pit registry on its mobile health website only (as of this writing), https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/#page/home. The registry is intended to be an epidemiological research tool with examinations helping to enhance VA’s understanding of any identified long-term adverse health effects of exposure to burn pits and other airborne hazards during deployment —ultimately leading to better health care.
Both OEF/OIF/OND and Persian Gulf War (1990-1991) veterans and servicemembers can now use the registry questionnaire to report exposures to airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires, or pollution during deployment), as well as other exposures and health concerns. Enrollment in the VA’s heath care system is not a prerequisite. However, as with the Agent Orange registry for Vietnam Confict era veterans and later, it affords the individual an opportunity to be medically examined and the information can be later used to establish a service-connected illness/injury, if needed (e.g., for future treatment or a compensation claim).
Veterans should sign-up now for a Department of Defense Self-Service Logon (DS-Logon) to use the registry. More information about the registry and the DS-Logon can be found by clicking here. Alternatively contact the Environmental Health Coordinator at the servicing VA health network. For those living in the Lehigh Valley, it is Casilda Ortiz, Tel: (610) 776-4362, email: Casilda.Ortiz@va.gov at the Allentown VA Outpatient Clinic.
For more information on the Burn Pits story, click here. It is also an alternative route to the registry site. Our Answers Desk’s Hazardous Exposures page has been accordingly updated.
[Primary Sources: VFW Action Corps Weekly 2o Jun 2014 and RAO Bulletin, 1 Jul 2014]
As of 1 July 2014