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VA’s Action Plan: Burn Pits and Airborne Hazards

Registry for Veterans and Servicemembers

VA's Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry allows eligible Veterans and Servicemembers to document their exposures and report health concerns through an online questionnaire.

Eligible Veterans and Servicemembers include those who served in:

  • Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn
  • Djibouti, Africa on or after September 11, 2001
  • Operations Desert Shield or Desert Storm
  • Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990

Check your eligibility and sign up. It takes about 40 minutes to complete the questionnaire. You can do it in one sitting or save it and come back later. After completing the questionnaire, you may request a free, optional medical evaluation.

You'll need a Premium DS Logon Level 2 account to sign up. Don't already have one? Go to My Access Center to register for a DS Logon.

Learn more about the registry.

If you have health concerns, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

Action plan guides treatment and study

Airborne hazards are substances moving through the air that pose danger or risk. The dusty, polluted environments of Iraq and Afghanistan contain many potential airborne hazards.

The high level of fine dust and pollution common in those areas may pose a greater danger for respiratory illnesses than exposure to burn pits on U.S. base camps, according to a 2011 Institute of Medicine report, Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Acting on the findings and recommendations in the report, VA and the Department of Defense are working to:

  • Develop a standard screening and evaluation of Servicemembers and Veterans with respiratory complaints after deployment in order to improve care
  • Conduct a long-term study that will follow Veterans for decades looking at their exposures and health issues to determine the impact of deployment

Read the Feb. 4, 2013 notice in the Federal Register to learn more about VA’s strategy and action plan.