KOAA 5 News
By Maddie Garrett
February 5, 2016
"We have no idea what these veterans were exposed to day to day," said Daniel Warvi, Public Affairs Officer, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.COLORADO SPRINGS - A News5 investigation into so-called burn pits looks into how toxic fumes our service members and civilian contractors were exposed to in war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq on a daily basis are now believed to be causing serious health problems.
As thousands of veterans came home from war, doctors started noticing a common health problem, they reported having a cough and/or trouble breathing. Some cases developed into rare lung diseases, and few even ended in death. But just as more vets and civilians are being diagnosed as having respiratory problems, Congress cut funding for more research on burn pit exposures for 2016.
The burn pits were used to destroy all types of waste during wars in the Middle East, burning everything from trash and food waste, to vehicle parts, ammunition, tires, batteries, medical waste, animal carcasses, chemicals, plastic and in some cases even body parts.
The Department of Veterans Affairs said one of the challenges in understanding the risks of burn pits is that each one could contain varying kinds of waste and that could differ on a day-to-day basis.
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