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Military Burn Pits and Parkinson's


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#1 oneguy

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Posted 30 April 2013 - 01:18 AM

I would like to hear comments from anyone who is convinced that their, or someone they know's, Parkinson's disease is directly related with exposure to toxic fumes from working in the immediate area of a "burn pit". A burn pit is an open air bare bones "facility"; i.e., no building or protective walls, etc., where it was a common practice to burn classified waste along with the containers for conveying them and the objects for making, using, and maintaining them. This included plastic folders and insert pages, devices that contained batteries, maps, inks, tape, spray on adhesive containers, organic waste, metal/aluminum cans, styrofoam, lubricants, rubber, wood and leather. I attribute my diagnosis of Parkinson's disease in 2007 to this alone. I was never overseas, but I was assigned a duty of burning these materials once per week for nearly eight hours at a time. What was your experience?

#2 sarahjo

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 12:36 PM

I don't know if this applies here, but I am a child of a Vietnam Vet. who passed away in 2007. highly exposed to agent orange, during his service, he was injured and sent home on leave, (and I was conceived) My symptoms had already started by we just chopped em up of over doing, also had cervical fusion in 2002, possibility it was that etc. lots of thoughts then when my father had passed the tremors started becoming more consistent. started asking primary dr questions, and he would tell me, no I was to young, the symptoms were not consistent, etc. my husband and I started our own research, and found that my dr. didn't know what he was talkin about, we switched primary dr. and he got the ball rolling all in short this has takin sense 2005, going from on Neuro dr to next and so on, when we switched primary dr. we were sent back to my first neuro surgeon, in turned said you need to see this specialist we work with, and all this being said to say this, when just speaking with the specialist two days ago, he informed me that there is evidence or findings (however you want to word it) that these different toxins and pestisides used or is using are likely to aide in Parkinson's, my sister whom is seven years younger than I is now having same symptoms I was having years past. Dr. said (two days ago) that I should go to V.A. and see what can be done. I really don't know what is or not fact, just digging around trying to find answers. hope this Helps. Have you tried to go talk to some one at V. A. ?

#3 oneguy

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 02:23 AM

Sarahjo, Thanks for your response. It sounds like multiple persons in your family either now have Parkinson's or may get the disease by virtue of heredity from your father who was exposed to agent orange. I am a veteran of both the Navy and the Air Force with over eleven years of service. I was never overseas and thus I was not exposed to agent orange. However, one of my extra duties at an Air Force base 1979-1983 was burning classified materials used by flight crews on their missions. The materials we burned at this state-side base included plastics, adhesives, aerosol cans, aluminum, and on and on. We did the burning in an open area of a field with no protection from the toxic fumes, no face mask, no headgear, no protective clothing, no goggles, and no wash-down after burning these things for up to 6 hours at a time on a weekly basis. There were no briefings given as to what to do in an emergency that involved toxic material. We burned all the items in a metal mesh basket with a handle used for rotating the basket for complete burning. Of all things, we were given a pair of asbestos gloves so that we would not burn our hands when throwing things into the burn basket. The location of the burning when it was done in Afganistan or Iraq was called "burn pits". I see little difference in what they burned over there and what we burned stateside. The VA is considering granting vets who were exposed to hazardous waste and toxic fumes overseas some form of health benefit with the VA. There apparently is no push on to grant similar benefits if one happened to do the burning in the United States. I am applying for health benefits with the VA in spite of this, and I hope to get some help from the VA. One thing I have been told of great significance by a local Veterans Service Officer is that it will be extremely difficult to get VA health benefits unless the person in question can find a doctor who is willing to sign a letter stating that "....therefore, it is more likely than not that (this veteran) has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease because of his/her direct exposure to hazardous waste and toxic fumes in a military burn pit or similarly entitled burning operation. The doctor who would sign such a letter needs to have had involvement with research in this field of study, research that implicates toxic fumes as the direct linkage to Parkinson's. I have written to four doctors now and each doctor has responded that they could not sign such a letter. I hope you have better luck in whatever avenue you follow to get help. If anyone reading this knows a doctor who would sign a letter in my behalf, please notify me. Thanks. Oneguy.




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