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Iraq War Exposures

Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (March 19, 2003 – Dec. 15, 2011)

Iraq War Veterans may have been exposed to a range of environmental and chemical hazards that carried potential health risks. VA offers eligible Veterans a free Gulf War Registry health exam for possible long-term health problems related to Gulf War service, including during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Dust surrounding a group of 

paratroopersSand, Dust and Particulates
Tiny airborne matter that can cause respiratory and other health problems

Silhouette of a soldier in front 

of the bright sunInfectious Diseases
Nine infectious diseases associated with Southwest Asia and Afghanistan military service

Pits left from roadside bombToxic Embedded Fragments
Shrapnel and other metals that remain in the body after injury

Head scansTraumatic Brain Injury
Concussions and brain injury often caused by explosions

Hand holding a foil blister pack with small white pillsMefloquine - Lariam®
Round, white pill taken to prevent and treat malaria

Smoke of sulfur fire Sulfur Fire (Al Mishraq, Iraq)
Sulfur plant burned almost a month in June 2003; large amounts of sulfur dioxide released into the air

Man wearing workplace safety gearOccupational Hazards
Exposures from working with chemicals, paints, and machinery during service

Smoke rising from a burn pitBurn Pits
Open-air pit waste disposal at military sites

Side of tank in IraqDepleted Uranium
Uranium used in military tank armor and some bullets

Servicemen are covering their ears to shield them from the noise of a blastNoise
Harmful sounds from guns, equipment, and machinery that is often experienced during service

Dog snout with teeth showingRabies
Disease transmitted by bite or saliva from an infected warm-blooded animal

Silhouette of a soldier on a truck in front of the bright 

sunHeat Injuries
Health problems that could be caused by extremely hot temperatures

Boots in dustChromium (Qarmat Ali)
Hexavalent chromium in contaminated sodium dichromate dust; water treatment plant in 2003

For VA compensation purposes, Iraq War Veterans with qualifying service are considered Gulf War Veterans and may be eligible for disability compensation for Gulf War Veterans' illnesses.