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Environmental Exposures

Photo of service member in uniform with gas mask on for training

The Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) play distinct roles in dealing with chemical and biological (CB) exposures and are responsible for developing DoD deployment occupational and environmental health surveillance, risk assessment and risk management policies. DoD identifies and validates veteran’s exposure to CB agents and monitors deployment-related exposure incidents and trends. This ensures effective programs are in place to prevent occupational and environmental injuries or illnesses during deployment.

The Public Health Division collaborates with their DoD partners and the VA on long-term medical care and benefits for our service members. The division also provides the names of these individuals along with their exposure information to the VA. The VA then notifies individuals of their potential exposure, provides treatment, if necessary, for these individuals and adjudicates any claim for compensation.

These combined efforts are shaping the future of military medicine by supporting enhanced individual exposure assessment methods.  The Public Health Division partners with federal research institutes on many projects to include:

  • Development of exposure biomarkers
  • Individual chemical dosimeters 
  • Individual Longitudinal Exposure Records

This page is designed to provide Service members, veterans, their families and the public with information on what happened during CB testing conducted years ago that potentially affected the health of those who served. It provides information on the tests conducted by DoD that possibly resulted in CB exposures only. For privacy reasons, it does not contain the names of the veterans exposed.

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Health Risk Assessment Burn Pit Exposures Balad Air Base Iraq

Report
6/26/2008

Defense Health Board: Health Risk Assessment Burn Pit Exposures Balad Air Base Iraq

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Deployment Health | Environmental Exposures

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GAO-08-366

Policy

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GAO-08-366, “DoD and VA Need to Improve Efforts to Identify and Notify Individuals Potentially Exposed during Chemical and Biological Tests”

Program Areas CBRN Protection

Fact Sheet
5/4/2005

The Medical Countermeasures (MCM) Directorate assists in protecting U.S. forces that are globally engaged and at potentially increased risk to being exposed to naturally occurring substances or encountering manufactured chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) agents that adversaries may seek to use against them.

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Health Readiness | Biological Surveillance Tools | Environmental Exposures | Chemical and Biological Exposures

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GA-04-410

Policy

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report: GA)-04-410, “DoD Needs to Continue to Collect and Provide Information on Tests and on Potentially Exposed Personnel”.

Supplement to Institute of Medicine Study: Long –Term Health Effects of Participation in Project SHAD, “Health Effects of Perceived Exposure to Biochemical Warfare Agents”

Policy

Senate Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Personnel, Prepare Statement of Dr. William Winkenwerder, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, on Shipboard Hazard and Defense

Policy

Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Hearing: Military Exposures: The Continuing Challenges of Care and Compensation

Policy

Joint Staff Memorandum for Deployment Health Surveillance and Readiness

Policy

Effective February 1, 1999, the uniform and stardardized health surveillance and readiness procedures described in this memorandum will be adhered to for all deployments.

Three-Part National Research Council Series Reports on Possible Long-Term Health Effects of Short-Term Exposure to Chemical Agents (1982-1985)

Policy

Veterans interested in learning more about any potential long-term health effects of DoD’s Cold War-era chemical testing programs can find three detailed reports conducted in the 1980s by the National Research Council (NRC) that are available online through National Academy Press.

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