Biden announces effort to ID toxic air issues in veterans

WASHINGTON, -- President Joe Biden's son Beau is an Iraq war veteran. He will use his first Veterans Day to announce a plan to better understand, treat, and identify the medical conditions of troops who have been deployed to toxic environments.

Biden announces effort to ID toxic air issues in veterans

WASHINGTON, -- President Joe Biden's son Beau is an Iraq war veteran. He will use his first Veterans Day to announce a plan to better understand, treat, and identify the medical conditions of troops who have been deployed to toxic environments.

According to White House officials, the focus of the study is on lung problems experienced by troops breathing in toxic. It also examines possible connections between rare respiratory diseases and time spent abroad breathing poor air. Officials from the federal government plan to begin by looking at breathing and lung problems, but will expand their efforts as science uncovers new connections.

Biden was planning to travel to Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, on Thursday to deliver remarks and participate in wreath-laying ceremonies.

This federal initiative is also intended to make it easier to file claims for veterans based on their symptoms. It will collect more data from troops suffering, and give veterans more time to file medical claims once symptoms like sinus problems or asthma have developed.

"We are discovering that there are a whole host lung conditions associated with deployment," Dr. Richard Meehan (an immunologist, rheumatologist) said. Retired U.S. The former U.S. Naval Reserve officer served in the Mideast in the 1990s and 2008, and is now co-director of Denver's National Jewish Hospital Center For Excellence on Deployment Related Lung Disease.

Biden speculated about a possible link between Beau's death from aggressive brain cancer following his return from Iraq and his exposure of toxins in the atmosphere, especially around huge pits where military waste is burned. This link is not supported by scientific evidence.

Joe Biden said Beau Biden's death was an eloquent moment that influenced his decision to not run for the 2016 presidency. From October 2008 to September 2009, the younger Biden served as a captain with the Delaware Army National Guard. He was diagnosed with a tumor in 2013, and died at 46 years old.

Meehan is researching the effects of inhalation exposures on military personnel deployed to Southwest Asia. He said that it's not only the burn pits but also the poor air quality in certain countries that forces would be prohibited from working there according to civilian federal workplace guidelines. The Department of Defense and private donors provide funding for the center.

Meehan was concerned that troops returning from combat with breathing difficulties were being compared to regular Americans in order to see if there was an increased risk of developing lung disease. However, those who serve with the U.S. military can run faster, are more fit and stronger than most Americans and are generally in peak physical condition. It is not common for someone to return from deployment to be unable or unwilling to climb stairs, or to be able to lift any weight without being exhausted.

Meehan stated that "when you compare them with another group, you must compare them with another healthy, fit group." "That's one problem that has been overlooked in studies that show no higher cancer incidence."

Veterans will be able to file claims within 10 years after their service. The government has also changed the way it counts symptoms and how they are determined.

Open-air pits have been a source of health problems for the U.S. military for many years. Federal investigators discovered that a military camp in Afghanistan had been operating an open-air pit for over five years. This was nearly four times the time allowed by Pentagon rules. Although the Defense Department stated that burn pits should be considered a last resort when there is no alternative method of trash disposal, they continued to operate for many years.

Updated Date: 11 November 2021, 12:07

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