ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – They got too close to the smoke of war and now they’re getting sick.
Missouri Congressman Todd Akin is introducing legislation to help veterans exposed the smoke from “burn pits” — many of whom are now complaining of cancer, lung problems and skin disorders.
“When we send our men and women to war, we need to make sure we take care of them,” Akin said.
The garbage fires — once common on U-S military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan — were sometimes a mix of plastics, solvents, paints, and medical waste.
Akin’s bill would create a registry of veterans listing their symptoms and where they may have been exposed to burn pits.
“We could track who is affected, how people are being affected and where,” Akin said, “And also it would suggest diagnostic and treatment protocols.”
It’s estimated that as many as 40,000 veterans may have been exposed to burn pits. Several hundred veterans around the country have filed lawsuits seeking compensation and medical treatment. The military contractor that operated burn pits, Kellogg Brown and Root, is being sued by veterans in over 40 states.
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