Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Program
VA and the Department of Defense established the Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program at the Baltimore VA Medical Center to screen and monitor Veterans for health problems associated with exposure to depleted uranium (DU).
Many sites are open for registry exams but some local restrictions and closures may still apply. Some sites are offering telehealth registry exams. Please contact your local Environmental Health Coordinator to find out more. We appreciate the importance of the registry evaluations to understand military environmental exposures. As a reminder, these exams are not tied to care, treatment or benefits. Please call your local VA medical center if you have a medical issue that needs attention. We remain committed to serving Veterans. VA will update the status of registry exam scheduling when there is new information.
VA requires active duty service in any of the conflicts listed below to qualify for the DU Follow-up Program:
- Gulf War
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation New Dawn
- Service at Karshi-Khanabad Air Base
The DU Follow-Up Program has two aspects: 1) for Veterans who were on or in vehicles hit with DU "friendly fire"; and 2) for rescuers entering burning vehicles, and those near burning vehicles; salvaging damaged vehicles; or near fires involving DU munitions.
Screening and follow-up care
Most Veterans concerned about DU exposure during combat were not involved in friendly fire, but had a possible exposure inhaling DU. For these Veterans, VA offers a screening program that involves completing:
- An exposure questionnaire
- A spot urine collection test to measure DU
For Veterans exposed to DU from embedded fragments or with DU-contaminated wounds from friendly fire, the Depleted Uranium Follow-up Program involves:
- Detailed physical exams
- Clinical tests of organ systems function
- Recommendations for treatment, including surgical removal of embedded fragments in some cases
So far no health problems associated with DU exposure have been found in Veterans exposed to DU. Researchers and clinicians continue to monitor the health of these Veterans.