VA’s Environmental Health Registries
VA offers six Environmental Health Registries. These registries provide voluntary medical assessments for Veterans who may have been exposed to certain environmental hazards during military service. Registry exams are done at no cost to Veterans. A Veteran does not need to be enrolled in VA health care to apply.
The six VA registries are:
- The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
- The Gulf War Registry
- The Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Program
- The Toxic Embedded Fragment Surveillance Center
- The Agent Orange Registry
- The Ionizing Radiation Registry
It is important to recognize that these registry exams are independent of the VA benefits process but provide Veterans with exams that can give them insight on their health. For VA, data from the registries are used for analyses and other purposes to guide VA officials to better care for Veterans.
The newest and fastest growing registry is the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AHOBPR) which had 235,241 participants as of March 23, 2021. Veterans with service in Southwest Asia after 1990, including Gulf War and Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn Veterans, and those who served in Djibouti, Africa, on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for the ABHOBR.
The Agent Orange Registry is the largest registry, with about 700,000 participants. Recently, the Agent Orange Registry expanded eligibility to include Blue Water Navy Veterans who came within 12 miles of the coast of Vietnam.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, registry exams have been temporarily suspended or reduced at some locations, but efforts are underway to reengage Veterans who want to participate. In many places, exams are offered through telemedicine or VA Video Connect. Some facilities are doing a two-step (virtual, then in-person) process for those who require an in-person exam or other testing. To find out options for a registry exam near you, please contact your local Environmental Health Coordinator.