The National Academies of Sciences (NAS), tasked by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with reviewing existing scientific research on toxic exposures, issued a statement recommending more study of the burn pit exposure. NAS called on federal agencies to launch a new, coordinated effort to monitor and research the health of Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans affected by toxic exposures, as well as track the health of their offspring. The committee spent two years looking through more than 4,000 papers on toxic exposure written by VA, Defense Department and outside researchers. They found a lack of information about how service members’ exposures affect their descendants. Service members in the Gulf War and post-9/11 veterans have been at risk for exposure to chemical and biological agents, smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires and depleted uranium. The committee found some evidence exists between those exposures and developmental problems in descendants, as well as low birth weight, preterm birth and childhood leukemia. For more information, contact Sandra at the Veterans Service Office at 602 Strong Ave on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm, or call 365-3612.

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