Gulf War Illness and Exposures

Gulf War Exposures

Gulf War Illness and Veteran Mitochondria

Veterans and Gulf War Mitochondria damage

Studies in the past 18 months have spotlighted the link between Gulf War Illness and veterans who suffered mitochondria damage. Mitochondria are organelles found in large numbers found in most cells of the human body. The most recent study, released in early September 2015, on its importance: “Multiple myeloma has been classified as exhibiting “limited or suggestive evidence” of an association with exposure to herbicides in Vietnam War veterans. Studies have shown that other pesticides (ie, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) are associated with excess risk of multiple myeloma ….” The study used 479 veterans of Operation Ranch Hand and 479 comparison veterans and found that, for the first time, there was direct evidence of greater mitochondrial damage in Gulf War veterans. Read More

Associated Conditions And Diseases

GULF WAR AND
MULTISYMPTOM ILLNESSES

If you served in the Gulf War in 1990-91, there are diseases, conditions and illnesses the VA considers presumptive to service. The list is limited, but veterans may still seek to establish a service connection on their own any diseases or illnesses they believe are associated with their service during the Gulf War. There are also diseases and conditions connected to the Gulf War that the VA already allows for disability benefits, as well as a list of nine infectious diseases recognized by the VA as associated with military service in the region.

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Gulf War Exposures

What were you exposed to during active duty service?

CHECK OUT VETSHQ’S PAGE ON GULF WAR EXPOSURES

Chemical and biological weapons
Vaccinations & Pyridostigmine Bromide
Pesticides
Oil well fires
Depleted Uranium
Sand, dust, and particulates
Toxic embedded fragments
CARC paint
Infectious diseases
Noise
Heat injuries
Occupational hazards

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What the VA
says about …

EXPOSURE TO
PARTICULATE MATTER
Veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf region experienced a sandy, dusty landscape where the winds exposed them to sandstorms, pollution and airborne particulates — which  can cause serious health problems because they’re inhaled deep into the lungs and air passages. The particulates can also include liquid droplets with acids, chemicals, and metals. If you served in the Gulf War in 1990-91, it’s important for veterans who were affected by particulate matter to know how the VA is guiding its employees to handle the associated claims.

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Mishraq State Sulfur Fire

What the VA
says about …

THE 2003 SULFUR
FIRE IN IRAQ

On June 24, 2003, a fire ignited at the Mishraq State Sulfur Mine Plant in northern Iraq. The Mishraq Sulfur Mine is the largest sulfur mine in the world. It burned for approximately 3 weeks and caused the release of roughly 42 million pounds of sulfur dioxide (SO2) per day; hydrogen sulfide (H2S) was also released. (At left, a satellite image of the sulfur fire — the smoke from the fire can be seen in the center of the image).

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Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Plant

What the VA
says about …

QARMAT ALI WATER
TREATMENT PLANT

In 2003, Army National Guard (NG) personnel from Indiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, and Oregon served at the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Plant in Basrah, Iraq, and were assigned to guard contract workers who were restoring the plant. During that time, sodium dichromate, a source of hexavalent chromium, which was previously used as a corrosion-preventing chemical by former Iraqi plant workers, was found on the ground and measured in the air.

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Take These Rapid Assessment Questionnaires to Learn More about the Veterans Benefits You May Be Eligible to Receive

Depleted Uranium compensation

Burn pit exposure

 

Burn Pit Exposure and Gulf War Veterans

It’s not just veterans of post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Gulf War veterans may have been impacted by exposure to open burn pits, as well as oil well fires and particulate matter. During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, in addition to large burn pits, outdoor latrines were common for the troops stationed in the desert, and burning the waste — with its acrid smoke and fumes — was often a daily task. Click here to view our section on burn pit exposure for more information.

Veterans claim burn pits contractor responsible for lung illnesses

Brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are two well-known signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But there is another injury, lung disease, that afflicts tens of thousands of veterans. Many blame a single defense contractor and have filed a class action lawsuit, a case that has now made its way to the Supreme Court. (PBS)

SEE OUR PAGE FOR MORE BURN PIT EXPOSURE VIDEOS >

Want to know more about Gulf War illness and exposures? Check out each of these sections below for information about what you need for veterans benefits and how VetsHQ can help.

Gulf War Syndrome news reports

Gulf War Syndrome
news reports

News, information and media investigations about Gulf War Syndrome.

WHAT’S THE NEWS?

Elements of a service-connected disability

Do you have a service-connected disability?

There are three elements, a rule of three, that must be present for the VA to recognize it.

WHAT ARE THEY?

5 paths to a service connection

There are 5 pathways to a service connection

A veteran can take multiple routes to establishing a service connection for their condition.

WHAT ARE THEY?

Fully Developed Claim

Fully Developed Claim, Unraveled

The story behind those EZ forms and what you need to know to make the most of your claim.

TELL ME MORE

Make veterans aware of available benefits

Do you know your benefits eligibility?

There are many veterans who are unaware of the benefits they’re entitled to receive.

TELL ME MORE

How VetsHQ works

Here’s how VetsHQ works
for veterans and families

If you’ve got 10 minutes, you can get an instant read on benefits you may qualify to receive.

SHOW ME HOW

VA health care enrollment

VA health care enrollment for combat veterans

OEF/OIF/OND veterans are eligible for free health care from the VA for five years after discharge.

HOW CAN I ENROLL?

Physician Medical Statement

Download Physician Medical Statement

You can take this form to a physician or specialist to help determine if a service connection exists between current health condition(s) and military service.

TELL ME MORE

Download Institute of Medicine Reports On Gulf War and Health

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences is a non-government organization that evaluates scientific literature and provides advice. In 1998, the IOM began a series of studies — mandated by Congress — to examine the scientific and medical literature on the potential health effects of chemical and biological agents related to the Gulf War. The first study reviewed the scientific literature on depleted uranium, chemical warfare agents (sarin and cyclosarin), pyridostigmine bromide, and vaccines (anthrax and botulinum toxoid), and it has produced 10 total reports to date. Click on any of the tiles below to download that particular report, free.

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