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DOD encourages Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

Map of Southwest Asia Service members and veterans who were deployed in the Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990, or who were stationed in Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible to sign up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. (Courtesy Image.)

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Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

As November marks Warrior Care Month for the Department of Defense, we reaffirm our ongoing dedication to increasing awareness of programs and resources that support the health of our service member community. One of those programs is the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry, which provides service members and veterans the opportunity to document their exposures to support research; help improve available care and services; and proactively become more aware of their own health and inform future research into the health effects of airborne hazards.

The registry is a secure database of health information voluntarily provided by service members and veterans through an online questionnaire that helps the Department of Veterans Affairs collect, analyze, and report on health conditions that may be related to environmental exposures experienced during deployment.

“The registry helps VA put data and information about all kinds of airborne hazard exposures to work for service members and veterans,” said Dr. Eric Shuping, the program manager of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry at VA Post Deployment Health Services.

Service members who were exposed to airborne hazards while serving may be at risk for short- and long-term health issues and may be eligible to sign up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.

As part of the registry, service members and veterans can discuss their exposure history and health with a provider in an optional medical exam (please note, registry exams may be delayed or conducted via telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Participants also receive information about registry updates and ongoing health studies. Currently, more than 215,000 service members and veterans are registered.

Service members and veterans who were deployed in the Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990, or who were stationed in Afghanistan or Djibouti on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible to sign up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. These regions include the following countries, bodies of water, and airspace above these locations:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Djibouti
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Waters of the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea

“We’ve seen a marked increase in service member participation in the registry over the last year, and I hope that trend will continue,” said Steve Jones, Force Readiness and Health Assurance Policy director. “In addition to encouraging eligible service members to register, we’re working across the Defense Health Agency and in collaboration with VA to make it easier for health care providers to access service members’ environmental exposure data and assess their health concerns. Through all these efforts, we’ll continue to collect critical data and gain a better understanding of how airborne hazards impact our troops’ short- and long-term health.”

To learn more about Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry eligibility and participation, please see the following: brief video, Fact Sheet, FAQs, and User Guide. All can be found by visiting Health.mil/AHBurnPitRegistry. If you are eligible, please consider joining the registry to learn more about your own health and support the health of other service members and veterans.

DoD recognizes that service members who have been exposed to airborne hazards and open burn pits while deployed may be concerned about their risk of experiencing complications related to COVID-19. Currently, there is no information to suggest that those exposed are at higher risk than the general public.

The VA Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Center of Excellence (AHBPCE) recommends that service members and veterans continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing and frequent handwashing. The AHBPCE continues to study the potential for long-term health implications from exposure to airborne hazards. For current information regarding COVID-19, visit DOD’s Coronavirus response website.

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AHOBPR Communications Toolkit

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The purpose of this toolkit is to enable communicators at military hospitals and clinics, as well as other organizations, to: •Share consistent Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry messaging and informational resources with service members and health care providers •Educate service members about the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry eligibility criteria •Encourage eligible service members to participate in the registry •Incorporate the enclosed messaging and outreach products into newsletters, social media campaigns, events, and more

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Use this graphic as a digital poster or screensaver at military hospitals and clinics and DoD/DHA facilities to raise awareness of the registry among staff, providers, and patients.

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This video provides information about the VA Burn Pit Registry, whether you're eligible to sign up for the registry, and how to do so.

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Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry DoD Health Care Provider CLINICAL TOOLBOX

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This toolbox contains background information on airborne hazards and the registry, guidance for conducting the medical exam, and resources for you to review and share with service members and other health care providers.

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Health Care Provider Guide to the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

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This guide informs how health care providers can support service members participating in the registry.

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Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry User Guide for Service Members

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The following guide is designed to help service members navigate the complete registry process. It describes the registry requirements; provides an in-depth, step-by-step guide for accessing, registering, and completing the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry questionnaire; and provides instructions for scheduling the optional, in-person medical exam.

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Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry Fact Sheet

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This fact sheet describes the purpose of the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry for Service Members

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Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry Frequently Asked Questions

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This document provides questions and answers about the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry

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