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Low-Level Blast Exposure

Low-level blast is the blast generated from firing heavy weapons systems or explosives in combat or training environments. LLB exposure is not the same as concussion or traumatic brain injury. Exposure doesn't typically result in a clinically diagnosable concussion/mild traumatic brain injury.

Low-level blast exposure may cause:

  • Concentration problems
  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Slowed thinking/slow reaction time
  • Decreased hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

Low-level blast examples:

Military occupations and heavy weapon systems that may expose service members to low-level blast include:

  • Armor, artillery and gunnery
  • Breaching charges
  • Shoulder mounted weapons
  • Explosive ordinance disposal
  • Military instructor training
  • .50 caliber weapons
  • Indirect fire weapons

Research is still emerging on the potential health effects of low-level blast exposure. It's important to recognize the signs and report your symptoms if they persist. Medical providers and service members can learn more about LLB and TBI from TBICoE's fact sheets, short video, and infographic.

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Video
Sep 21, 2023

TBI and Low-Level Blast Exposure: What Medical Providers Need to Know

TBI and Low-Level Blast Exposure: What Medical Providers Need to Know

This educational video, produced by the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence, focuses on the effects of low-level blast and traumatic brain injury. Its purpose is to provide supplemental information on low-level blast to health care providers and beneficiaries.

Fact Sheet
Jul 18, 2023

Low-Level Blast: Fact Sheet for Providers

.PDF | 1.26 MB

Low-level blast is defined as blast generated from firing heavy weapon systems or explosives in combat or training environments. Exposure to low-level blast does not typically result in a clinically diagnosable concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury. Both providers and service members should be aware of the potential effects of low ...

Fact Sheet
Jul 18, 2023

Low-Level Blast: Fact Sheet for Service Members

.PDF | 867.41 KB

Low-level blast is defined as blast generated from firing heavy weapon systems or explosives in combat or training environments. Exposure to low-level blast does not typically result in a clinically diagnosable concussion, also known as mild traumatic brain injury. Both providers and service members should be aware of the potential effects of low ...

Last Updated: December 07, 2023
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