During their deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) , many Veterans were exposed to a wide array of toxic substances and psychologic stressors, most notably airborne/ environmental pollutants from open burn pits. Service members do not deploy whilst unhealthy, but often they return with a multitude of acute and chronic symptoms, some of which only begin to manifest years after their deployment. Our findings, while preliminary in nature, suggest that Iraq War Veterans who participated in our survey reported a decrease in overall physical fitness and increased respiratory clinical symptoms compared with pre-deployment periods. The objective of this report is to provide information that will benefit how combat Veterans are cared for post-deployment. Strategies for a wider and more comprehensive assessment and medical screening process post-deployment are recommended.
Poisson, C.; Boucher, S.; Selby, D.; Ross, S.P.; Jindal, C.; Efird, J.T.; Bith-Melander, P. A Pilot Study of Airborne Hazards and Other Toxic Exposures in Iraq War Veterans. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3299.