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Cold War Era Exposures

Cold War Era (1945-1991)

Veterans who served during the Cold War Era may have been exposed to a range of environmental and chemical hazards that carried potential health risks.

Mushroom cloudIonizing Radiation
Exposure from atmospheric and underground nuclear weapons tests

Aircraft carrierProject 112/Project SHAD
Military tests of chemical/biological warfare materials conducted in the 1960s to early 1970s

World War I soldier in trench wearing gasmaskMustard Gas
Military tests of mustard agents in the 1940s

Smoke pouring out of a smokestackAtsugi Waste Incinerator
Atsugi, Japan: Combustion waste disposal that burned industrial and medical waste

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

Herbicide storage tankHerbicide Tests and Storage
Agent Orange and other herbicides used in Vietnam, tested or stored elsewhere

Researcher filling test vials with blood samplesEdgewood/Aberdeen Experiments
Classified medical studies of low-dose chemical agents conducted from 1955-1975

Julian C. Smith Hall at Camp LejeuneCamp Lejeune Water Supplies
Tap water contaminated by industrial chemicals at Marine Corps Base Camp in the 1950s to 1980s

Buckner Hall at Fort McClellanFort McClellan
Potential exposure to hazardous materials during military service at Fort McClellan

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