Traill County Veterans Service Office

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TOXIC EXPOSURE

VETERANS CORNER

Q: How will a toxic exposure screening help Veterans?

A: Every enrolled Veteran will receive an initial toxic exposure screening and a follow-up screening every five years. Veterans who are not enrolled, but who are eligible to enroll, will have an opportunity to enroll and receive the screening. Veterans will be asked questions about potential exposure to an open burn pit or other hazards and symptoms commonly associated with military environmental exposure. These questions will help the VA health care providers individualize health care services and improve health outcomes and patient exposure. This will also help the VA identify other potential risks for Veterans and inform them of future policy decisions.

Q: What does toxic exposure include?

A: There are 5 types of possible exposures including:

  1. AIR POLLUTANTS: Burn pits, oil well fires, sulfur fires, sand, dust and particulates.
  2. CHEMICALS: Agent Orange, other herbicides, burn pits, Camp Lejeune water supplies, pesticides, depleted uranium, chromium, and industrial solvents.
  3. RADIATION: Nuclear weapons testing, x-rays, and depleted uranium.
  4. WARFARE AGENTS: Chemical warfare agents, nerve agents, mustard gas, herbicide tests, and storage of these agents.
  5. OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS: Asbestos, lead, fuels, industrial solvents, radiation, vibration, noise, special paint on military vehicles, some coolants, and insulating fluids.

Q: What is the Burn Pit Registry?

A: The VA Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry aims to help the VA better understand potential health effects of exposure and proactively identify any health concerns that Veterans can discuss with their health car providers for follow-up care.  Veterans deployed to Southwest Asia or Egypt after August 2nd 1990 or Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, or Uzbekistan on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible to participate in the Burn Pit Registry. Participation is voluntary and . exposure to specific airborne hazards or having related health concerns is not required to participate in the registry. Veterans can register online at: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/burnpits/registry.asp

Q: How is health care expanding to help Veterans get the VA health care that they need?

A: Health Care Eligibility is expanding to include 3 categories of Veterans who may not have been eligible before.

  1. CATEGORY 1: Veterans who participated in a toxic exposure risk activity (as defined by law) while serving on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
  2. CATEGORY 2: Veterans who were assigned to a duty station in (including the air space above) certain locations during specific periods of time:
    1. On or after August 2, 1990, in Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, or the United Arab Emirates.
    2. On or after September 11, 2001, in: Afghanistan, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, or any other country determined relevant by the VA.
  3. CATEGORY 3: Veterans who deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, Operation Inherent Resolve, or Resolute Support Mission.

Q: How can a Veteran apply for this expanded VA health care?

A:There are 4 ways to apply for VA health care.

  1. Call the toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 M-F 8:00am-8:00pm EST
  2. Apply Online at: https://www.va.gov/health-care/apply/application/introduction
  3. Bring a completed, signed VA Form 10-10EZ to the Fargo VA Medical Center
  4. Make an appointment at the Traill County Veterans Service Office 701-430-7059.
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