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Imagine billowing black clouds of toxic smoke filling up the lungs of our men and women in uniform. Is this an attack from a foreign enemy? No, it's a method of waste removal at U.S. military sites all over the world.
According to IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), burn pits are the Agent Orange of our generation.
It has been reported that waste burned in the pits include the following:chemicals, paints, medical waste, human waste, metal, aluminum products, electronic waste, munitions (including unexploded ordinance), petroleum products, lubricants, plastics, rubber, wood and food waste.
The burning of such materials causes clouds of black smoke that blow into the lungs of our service men and women, potentially causing severe respiratory illnesses.
In the short term, burn pits cause irritation of the nose, eyes and throat; along with headaches, nausea and difficulty breathing.The long term effects remain largely unknown. But obviously it can't be good for a person to inhale jet fuel on a regular basis.
It is estimated that 3.5 million servicemembers and veterans have been exposed to burn pits. (IAVA)
There is also the issue of depleted uranium exposure, from which hundreds of thousands of veterans are disabled.
It is time to pass legislation to deal with this health hazard to our troops. And it is also time that this matter gets investigated.
Senator Jon Tester's Bills
Senator Jon Tester is the Chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.
Below is information about legislation supported by Senator Jon Tester.
Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Press Release About Legislation
This bill is supported by Jon Tester. This is the main bill fighting to help veterans against toxic exposure.
Read the Bill Here (Veterans.Senate.gov)
Press Release on Tester's Bill (Senator Tester's Official Site, 5-25-21)
Tester Historic Bill Clears Committee Hurdle (Senator Tester's Official Site, 5-26-21)
Read Bill Here (Downloadable PDF)
Read One Page Summary of the Bill Here PDF
S.3003 (Introduced 10/19/21)
An original bill to improve health care and benefits for veterans exposed to toxic substances, and for other purposes.
Representative Mark Takano's Bill - Honoring our PACT Act of 2021
Read Bill Here - H.R. 3967 (Congress.gov)
IAVA Celebrates Passage of Takano Bill (IAVA, 3-4-22)
IAVA Petitions U.S. Senate to Pass Bipartisan Honoring Our Pact Act (IAVA, 4-14-22)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Marco Rubio's Bill
Read Bill Here: S.952 Cosponsors
Press Release of Bill(Senator Marco Rubio's Official Site, 3-26-21)
Related House Bill From Representative Raul Ruiz
H.R.2372 - Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2021
Older Gillibrand Bill
Similar Legislation in 2020
Jon Stewart's Support
Jon Stewart Supports Bills to Help Millions of Veterans Get Care for Toxic Exposure (Washington Post, 5-26-21)
Two measures introduced in Congress, by Mark Takano and Jon Tester, would overhaul the way the Department of Veterans Affairs cares for millions of former service members who were exposed to toxic substances.
Comedian Jon Stewart is supporting these measures. Read more about Takano and Tester's bills below.
Jon Stewart has also supported Gillibrand and Rubio's bills.
VIDEO: Jon Stewart Meets With Denis McDonough
Jon met with VA secretary Denis McDonough to talk about burn pits, toxic exposure, and what’s standing in the way of veterans getting the care they need.
Jon Stewart, lawmakers announce legislation to help veterans impacted by burn pits (ABC News, 4-13-21)
Senator Sullivan Bill
Press Release for Burn Pits bill on Senator Sullivan's Website
Read Bill Here. (Congress.gov)
VFW Supports Burn Pit Legislation (Veterans of Foreign Wars)
This article is about a previous version of the 2021 Sullivan bill.
About Burn Pits
Burn Pits (Wikipedia)
Burn Pits 101 (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America)
Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)
Burn Pit Locations (Vets HQ)
Biden administration to increase support for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits while serving overseas (NBC News, 11-11-21)
Veterans exposed to ‘burn pits’ struggle to get benefits approved by the VA (PBS, 5-27-21)
Congress must address the toxic exposure our veterans have endured (The Hill, 4-7-21)
Bills touted by Jon Stewart may help millions of veterans get care for toxic exposure (Washington Post, 5-26-21)
'The Burn Pits' Doc in the Works Following Proposed Jon Stewart Legislation (The Wrap, 4-14-21)
Burn Pits 360
Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans of America
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America - Support For Toxic Exposure Injuries
VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
Anyone exposed to a burn pit should sign up with this registry to ensure awareness and treatment for related issues.
The Burn Pits: The Poisoning of America's Soldiers (Amazon)
Delay, Deny, Hope You Die Official Trailer | Passion River Films (YouTube, 6-22-18)
NYC Veteran's Alliance President Speaks About Her Exposure to Burn Pits (YouTube, 6-1-18)
President & Founding Director of the NYC Veterans Alliance, Kristen Rouse discusses her exposure to burn pits and support of burn pit legislation.