Numerous veterans of the War in Iraq and Afghanistan have self-reported mysterious respiratory symptoms after their deployment. What’s known as “War Lung Disease” is actually a set of lung conditions resulting from exposure to a variety of different airborne hazards in these wars.
Medical studies have found a plausible linkage between respiratory illnesses veterans have experienced and exposure during these wars to sandstorms, improvised explosive devices, inhaled metals from explosions, aeroallergens, and burn pits.
For example, surface dust found in Iraq is known to contain sharp particles, minerals, and metals. At least one study has suggested that inhaling this dust can cause lung inflammation. Sandstorms are also known to blanket the Middle East and Afghanistan during the spring and summer seasons and often send people to the hospital.
Improvised explosive devices are a type of “homemade” bomb or explosive device that was often used by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. These devices may have been able to aerosolize metals and create intense blasts and shockwaves that caused lung damage.
One of the most recognized culprits for War Lung Disease is the burn pits ignited by jet fuel commonly used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A wide array of things was burned in these pits, including computer waste, medical waste, human waste, chemicals, plastics, munitions, and even vehicles. Disposing these materials in burn pits created airborne byproducts in the form of small particulate matter and numerous toxins.
Ultimately, the particular environmental conditions that military personnel were exposed to during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan likely causes the ailment known as War Lung Disease. If you are an Iraq or Afghanistan War veteran who is experiencing problems with breathing and suspect might have War Lung Disease, it’s important to see a physician. Your physician can evaluate your symptoms, administer pulmonary diagnostic testing, or do a lung biopsy if necessary to determine whether you might be suffering from War Lung Disease.
For more information on War Lung Disease and what you can do to if you think you might be affected, get help now from Veteran Health Services Group. Contact us today at 833-218-2792 to get the information and assistance you need to address this critical health concern.