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Injured Veterans Seek Relief for Burn Pit Exposure

During the American military engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq, pits of burning trash have been common sights near bases and other installations. With little ability to cart garbage away, everyday refuse and large items, such as vehicles, wound up in these “burn pits.” Now, veterans of these conflicts are suffering from aggressive cancers and other serious medical conditions possibly triggered by exposure to toxic fumes generated by these fiery piles.

Increased awareness of the problems linked to burn pits and an influx of legislators who have served in the Middle East might provide relief to veterans who have been suffering. Action to assist these veterans is taking place on several fronts, including:

  • National registry for burn pit victims — An organization called Burn Pits 360 has worked to keep track of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who might have been affected by breathing harmful particles. According to its executive director, at least 130 deaths have been linked to burn pit proximity.
  • Congressional review — Both the House and Senate committees on veterans’ affairs have indicated that they will investigate the connection between exposure to the massive trash fires and illnesses among service members who were exposed. This effort has support from each committee chair.
  • Medical research — According to doctors who have studied the subject, diseases tied to burn pits might include lung cancer and constrictive bronchiolitis, which is caused by tiny particles in the victim’s airways. There could also be neurological, reproductive and cardiovascular effects.

Despite the research that has been done, the VA has been reluctant to address this potentially major health concern. From 2007 to November 2018, only a small percentage of disability claims related to burn-pit exposure in Afghanistan and Iraq were granted. However, the new focus on this threat, combined with high-level advocacy from politicians such as former Vice President Biden, could lead to legislation or other measures that shift how this issue is handled. Even if you only suspect that a medical problem afflicting you or a loved one might stem from proximity to trash pit fires, it’s important to find a legal representative who is aware of the latest developments in this area and can construct the strongest possible case for obtaining benefits.

Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban advises veterans and active military personnel on potential burn pit claims and other issues stemming from toxic exposure overseas and at home. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 866-866-VETS or contact us online. Our offices are in the Carolinas and Virginia.

  • Thank to Mr. Spencer I was able to get my VA disability claim re-reviewed and given another chance to receive disability. By far he is one of the most professional lawyers I have ever dealt with. So Veterans if you are looking for help with your VA disability claim I would suggest that you hire Macari, Russotto, Spencer, & Balaban. Thanks again for everything.

    — Alfred Daye

  • As a disabled veteran trying to navigate the complexities of the Veterans Administrations regulations, I turned to the law firm of Marcari, Russotto, Spencer and Balaban. They helped me understand what I needed to do and prepared and presented to the VA an excellent presentation of my case. I recommend them for your legal needs.

    — Harry Johnson

  • I was very satisfied with the excellent and professional manner the law firm handled my claim. I highly recommend any veteran who needs help with his or her claim to use Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban P.C. Special thanks to Mr Spencer for being very professional and courteous during the appeal process. Again Thanks to the entire firm for a job well done!

    — Luther Henderson

  • My husband & I highly recommend this law form to any veteran trying to navigate the endless red tape of the VA. We turned to Marcari, Russotto, Spencer & Balaban to handle my husband's appeal and could not have been happier. We enjoyed open and consistent communication regarding our case. Any questions we had were answered immediately.

    — Michele DeZayas

  • Amanda Medina-Morales was our point of contact and she kept us up to date on the progress of our case. It was a pleasure and relief knowing that someone truly competent and professional was handling this and fighting for us.

    — Michele DeZayas

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