The Effects of Exposure to Documented Open-Air Burn Pits on Respiratory Health Among Deployers of the Millennium Cohort Study

Department of Deployment Health Research, Naval Health Research Center, 140 Sylvester Road, San Diego, CA 92106, USA.
Journal of occupational and environmental medicine / American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.63). 06/2012; 54(6):708-16. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825107f9
Source: PubMed


To investigate respiratory illnesses and potential open-air burn pit exposure among Millennium Cohort participants who deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Using multivariable logistic regression, newly reported chronic bronchitis or emphysema, newly reported asthma, and self-reported respiratory symptoms and possible burn pit exposure within 2, 3, or 5 miles were examined among Army and Air Force deployers surveyed in 2004 to 2006 and 2007 to 2008 (n = 22,844).
Burn pit exposure within 3 or 5 miles was not associated with respiratory outcomes after statistical adjustment. Increased symptom reporting was observed among Air Force deployers located within 2 miles of Joint Base Balad; however, this finding was marginally significant with no evidence of trend.
In general, these findings do not support an elevated risk for respiratory outcomes among personnel deployed within proximity of documented burn pits in Iraq.

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    • "During the past decade, hundreds of American soldiers, who temporarily lived on various US military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan where open burnpits were heavily used to dispose of waste, have reported medical problems as a result of exposure to those burn-pits. A few studies have examined this problem (Conlin et al. 2012; Smith et al. 2012; King et al. 2011). Additionally, recent investigations have linked titanium (Ti) and magnesium (Mg) to the dust found in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' lungs (Szema et al. 2014). "
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