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Posted on 01/30/2010 7:56:17 PM PST by Steve Newton

The Silver Star Families of America's mission has been and continues to be directed toward our wounded, injured and ill troops and veterans. However, the overall health and safety of our troops remain a directing factor to our organization. Thus, SSFOA strongly urges the cessation of the use of burning pits.

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KEYWORDS: burnpits; health; military; ssfoa
In a memo dated 12/20/06, the then bioenvironmental flight commander at Joint Base Balad, wrote: "In my professional opinion, there is an acute health hazard from individuals. There is also the possibility for chronic health hazards associated with the smoke." Air Force bioenvironmental engineers are experts in occupational and environmental workplace hazards. The military has no standard operating procedure or training policy for ensuring the burn pits are operated properly. Consequently, per the above referenced memo, the following items have found their way into the burn pit at Balad: paint and solvents; styrofoam; unexploded ordnance; petroleum products; plastic; rubber; dining facility trash; and medical waste (including amputated limbs). The memo further states other contaminants that troops may have been exposed to include: benzene (an aircraft fuel known to cause leukemia); arsenic; dichlorofluorometha ne (Freon); carbon monoxide; ethylbenzene; formaldehyde; hydrogen cyanide; nitrogen dioxide; sulfuric acid and xylene.

While the above information specifically pertains to the burn pits at Balad, burn pits are being used all over Iraq and in Afghanistan. A total of 41 incinerators have been approved for use at U.S. bases in Iraq, but only 17 are presently fully operational. Another 17 are being built with 7 awaiting funding. An additional 22 are planned. Incinerators for Afghanistan are still being planned/designed.

The DAV has been gathering information on this issue. There are currently 182 combat vets on their database. Of these, 48 have lymphoma, luekemia or another type of cancer; 55 have pulmonary ailments including asthma and asthma-like symptoms; and others report multiple sclerosis, sleep apnea and heart problems. At least 16 veterans on this list have died. This is another Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome situation in the making.

Burn pits are unacceptable refuse disposal method for any permanent military installation here in the States or elsewhere in the world. The Silver Star Famiies of America believes there is more than enough evidence to suggest that burn pits are and will be detrimental to the health of our armed forces. Thus it is our position that the practice stop or be revised.

This position statement will be included in written testimony to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

1 posted on 01/30/2010 7:56:18 PM PST by Steve Newton
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To: Steve Newton

AHHH! I love the smell of burning shiite in the morning. Smells like....burning shiite.

2 posted on 01/30/2010 9:23:05 PM PST by Safetgiver (I'd rather die under a free American sky than live under a Socialist regime.)
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To: Safetgiver

Got bored after reading the first paragraph (sorry no insult intended) but could that be stretched to include campfires....I don’t trust anything the government says....

3 posted on 01/31/2010 9:11:08 AM PST by goat granny
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To: goat granny


But in this case I think an ounce of prevention now, could save a lot of our kids problems in the future.

4 posted on 01/31/2010 9:20:42 AM PST by Steve Newton (Pappy)
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