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Fuels (Petroleum, Oils, Lubricants)

Oil well

Some service members may have been exposed to fuels, such as diesel and JP-8, used to operate vehicles during military sevice.

Possible health effects depend on how they were exposed (skin, oral, or breathing), length of time exposed, and personal factors, such as age, gender, genetic traits, and diet.

Symptoms of exposure to fuels

Health effects may include irritation to unprotected skin, eye and upper respiratory irritation, fatigue, breathing difficulty, headaches, dizziness, and sleep disturbances. Drinking fuels is dangerous and may result in convulsions, coma and even death.

Scientific research on the long-term effects of exposure to fuels is inconclusive; however, if an individual is exposed to fuel at very high levels over a long period of time, lung and heart problems may develop.  

Health concerns?

If you are concerned about health problems associated with fuel exposure during your military service, talk to your health care provider or contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator to help you get more information from a health care provider.

VA offers a variety of health care benefits to eligible Veterans. Not enrolled in the VA health care system? Find out if you qualify for VA health care.

Compensation benefits for health problems

Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to fuel exposure during military service. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. File a claim online.

Learn more about VA benefits.

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