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What are some common airborne illness causes?

There are many illnesses that can be suffered by those who were exposed to airborne hazards during war. Some of the most common are recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as well as different branches of the military.

Airborne hazards can be a result of things such as smoke from structural fires, dust or sand being breathed in over a period of time, automobile or aircraft engine exhaust fumes, smoke from burning oil wells or the burning of non-human or human solid wastes. The effects of this pollution have been studied for many years, and it is known that soldiers and those exposed could face adverse health effects to their cardiovascular or respiratory systems.

For example, during the first and second Gulf War, thousands of Gulf War veterans were exposed to an undiagnosed environmental illness. These conditions are not well understood, but they have been studied as a result of the 1991 Gulf War and were seen again during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The American Legion has been advocating for veterans affected by these conditions, and it has suggested that the Department of Veterans Affairs should not select a date for these symptoms to manifest. They are not well understood, and the illnesses could affect people differently depending on exposure rates.

Another thing that people were exposed to, particularly during Vietnam, was Agent Orange. Agent Orange exposure can lead to many different illnesses including Parkinson's disease, hairy cell carcinoma and leukemia. If you or a loved one suffers from these conditions, you may be entitled to compensation through disability benefits; a legal professional can help you file the documents you need.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "War Related Illness and Injury Study Center Airborne Hazards," accessed Nov. 03, 2016

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