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Initiate Support for Injuries from Burn Pits and Other Toxic Exposures

Our members have made it clear: 2018 is the year IAVA will educate Americans about burn pits and airborne toxic exposures and the devastating potential impact they could be having on the health and welfare of millions of Post-9/11 veterans and their families. According to IAVA’s most recent member survey, 80% of respondents were exposed to burn pits during their deployments and over 60% of those exposed reported having symptoms. Burn pits were a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly between 2001 and 2010. There are other hazards beyond burn pits that occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan that may pose danger for respiratory illnesses, including high levels of fine dust and exposure to other airborne hazards. Year after year, we have seen an upward trend in the number of members reporting symptoms associated with burn pit exposure. IAVA will sound the alarm for all Americas: burn pits could be the Agent Orange for our generation of veterans.

In 2017, an IAVA-backed provision was included in the NDAA to require the VA to coordinate efforts related to burn pit-related diseases and effective treatments for those diseases. While this provision is a step forward, we’ll continue to fight for more resources to address burn pit and toxic exposure issues.

What are burn pits?

How do burn pits affect servicemembers and veterans?
New York City Veterans Alliance President and IAVA Member Leader Kristen L. Rouse shares her story:

In 2018 IAVA will:

  1. Advocate for increased funding for research into the association between toxic exposures, burn pits, and diseases expected to be associated with such exposure.
  2. Press for VA clinicians to be trained to query and identify illnesses tied to toxic exposure. (Currently, the VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pits registry is self selected; from our latest member survey only 35% of IAVA members exposed to burn pits are registered.)
  3. Press for mandatory screening for toxic exposure for all veterans entering VA, similar to the screenings conducted for Military Sexual Assault.
  4. Encourage DoD to identify all those exposed to burn pits and other toxins both at bases in CONUS or while deployed and work with the VA to proactively reach out to encourage enrollment in the Burn Pit and Airborne Hazards Registry.
  5. Continue to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans facing health issues they believe may be associated with toxin exposures through our digital resources, our local VetTogether events and our nationally-recognized Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP).

How is IAVA making progress toward these goals?
NEW!! NBC 10 Philadelphia Produces Three-Part Series on Burn Pits

Student nurse’s study raising awareness of illnesses connected to burn pits
Stars and Stripes, 11/19/2018

Petraeus:
US has ‘sacred obligation’ to help burn-pit veterans
Usabale Fox Screenshot
General Petraeus Sends Letter of Support to All Members of Congress

Burn Pits Bill Presser

Burn Pits Bill Gains Momentum on Capitol Hill

Senate Bill Co-Sponsors (S. 191)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

House Bill Co-Sponsors (H.R. 663)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2)
Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18)
Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-At Large)
Rep. Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC-3)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-3)
Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-9)
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6)
Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS-At Large)
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-7)
Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9)
Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA-53)
Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
Rep. Rohit Khanna (D-CA-17)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3)
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-8)
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13)
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN-3)
Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL-9)
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA-6)
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1)
Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE-2)
Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC-5)
Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO-3)
Rep. George Holding (R-NC-2)
Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI-05)
Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24)
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large)
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29)
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA-4)
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL-1)
Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-4)
Rep. Valdez Demings (D-FL-10)
Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA-10)
Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL-4)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24)
Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP-1)
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9)
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20)
Rep. Charles Fleischmann (R-TN-3)
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO-8)
Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA-12)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-2)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5)
Rep. James McGovern (D-MA-2)
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA-30)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX-9)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-30)
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16)
Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA-35)
Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ-10)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI-4)
Rep. Doris Matsui (R-CA-6)
Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2)
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI-3)
Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR-1)
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL-22)
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-2)
Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH-2)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO-5)
Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA-9)
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4)
Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL-11)
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)
Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN-1)
Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-7)
Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY-27)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12)
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA-2)
Rep. James Langevin (D-RI-2)
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT-5)
Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA-10)
Rep. John Caramendi (D-CA-3)
Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT-At Large)
Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13)
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY-11)
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI-2)
Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV-3)
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-OR-4)
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI-8)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY-1)
Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN-1)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11)
Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM-1)
Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA-8)
Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY-3)
Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA-48)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO-5)
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-8)
Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN-5)
Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT-4)
Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-7)
Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS-1)
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ-4)
Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA-3)

VSO Partners

Fleet Reserve Association
Military Officers Association of America
US Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Non-Commissioned Officers Association
Service Women’s Action Network
US Army Warrant Officer Association
Military Order of the Purple Heart
Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the US
The Retired Enlisted Association
Chief Warrant Officer Association- US Coast Guard
Air Force Sergeants Association
National Military Family Association
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors
Vietnam Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Wounded Warrior Project
Association of the United States Navy
Disabled American Veterans
Air Force Women Officers Associated
AMSUS the Society of Federal Health Professionals
Reserve Officers Association
AMVETS (American Veterans)
Burn Pits 360
National Guard Association of the United States