Airborne hazards are just one of many things veterans may have come into contact with on the job. Many are concerned about these hazards and for good reason. The health effects of these substances can be measured, and it's been known for some time that they can lead to illness. While it may be hard to link the hazards to illness, with the right documentation, it is possible.
What kinds of hazards are there?
Common particulate matter pollutants and gaseous air pollutants include smoke from fires or explosions, engine exhaust from aircrafts and automobiles, ambient air pollution from industrial plants, dust and sand particulates and even the burning of non-human or human waste.
How can a veteran be affected by these pollutants?
Short- and long-term exposure to harmful pollutants can lead to problems with the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Reduced pulmonary function could be explained by exposure to combustion products.
What should you do if you've been exposed to pollutants?
It's important to keep an eye on your health. First, make sure to talk to a doctor about your concerns. Discuss any new conditions or symptoms you've developed, and gather information on the link between your condition and the pollutants you've been exposed to.
As you track the progression of symptoms or learn more about the dangers you were exposed to, you can start developing a case for disability, compensation or other benefits that you'd like to receive. Once you're in a position to file a claim, your attorney can help you fill out the appropriate paperwork and documentation for the best chance of success.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "War Related Illness and Injury Study Center," accessed Aug. 30, 2016