They have been called "Bonfires of insanity" according to the online petition site known as Care2.com. That would seem a plausible name because all sanity seems to have been tossed out the window when it comes to what is burned in these pits.
The items tossed in these burn-pits range from styrofoam cups, medical waste and human waste. Anyone with common sense should have been taught about the hazard of burning just styrofoam in a fire and breathing the fumes.
However, the military continues to put the health of our troops at risk despite past experiences with things like Agent Orange. The callous disregard of our leaders towards our troops is appalling to say the least.
Last year, a company known as KBR sought immunity when it came to operating the burn-pits and the health hazards they pose toward our troops. Lawyers for KBR sought a dismissal of 55 pending cases brought against them by troops who served around the burn-pits.
KBR can't claim immunity when it comes to burn-pits because of a leaked memo by Army Captain G. Michael Pratt, an environmental science engineering officer at Bagram. He wrote a memo concerning the toxicity of burn-pits. In the memo, Pratt stated the following,
Between 2005 and 2010, readings for the Bagram (Air Field) site, including Camp Sabalu-Harrison, were in the “unhealthy” range, two to three times the national air quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the memo.
Pratt also mentioned in that memo, "results of air samples taken over approximately the last eight years indicate there may be an increased risk of long-term adverse health conditions." The military once again failed to heed the warnings and as a result many troops have suffered and died as a result of their negligence.
The Marine Corps Times states the following,
Sixty-three burn pits were still being used in Afghanistan as of Dec. 26; those in Iraq were closed by December 2010.
According to the VA some of the health problems that might be attributed to burn-pits are as follows: Veterans’ exposure to airborne toxins from burn pits may affect the skin, eyes, respiration, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract and internal organs.
Some troops claim their poor health is a result of the burn-pits. The government says it will take time to conduct long-term health studies to determine if there is a connection between burn-pits and health hazards. What the government fails to realize is that time is not something many of those exposed to the burn-pits have.
If you, or a loved one, served around one of these burn-pits and are experiencing health problems be sure to contact your VA representative and let them know. To view a video about these burn-pits click here.