Subscribe
Senior Airman Frances Gavalis tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit in Iraq in 2008.

Senior Airman Frances Gavalis tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit in Iraq in 2008. (Julianne Showalter/DVIDS)

A Missouri lawmaker is continuing his campaign to get a better handle on the impact open-air burns pits has had on uniformed personnel who worked near them in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rep. Todd Akin has asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for more details on the practice, and particularly on an April 2011 Army memo that addressed the poor air quality at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, according to an article in the Army Times. The memo noted that poor air quality at the base could have a long-term negative impact on personnel in the vicinity.

According to the Army Times, the memo said "results of air samples taken over approximately the last eight years indicate there maybe an increased risk of long-term adverse health conditions."

Currently in Afghanistan, U.S. forces use small pits, the Army Times said. It cited a Disabled American Veterans database that counts nearly 600 veterans who maintain they grew ill from excessive exposure to burn pits.

Source: Army Times


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up