The Department of Veterans Affairs extended the deadline for public comments about its burn pit questionnaire. Although the VA’s focus is on veterans, I found the questionnaire interesting because the same questions asked of service members could be asked of Defense Base Act claimants.
The comments focus on the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry Questionnaire. Before finalizing the document, the VA wants comments about the questions. Here are some of the questions asked:
On a typical day, how often were you outside or in an open tent or open shelter during this deployment?
Were you near a burn pit (on the base or close enough to the base for you to see the smoke)?
Who ran the burn pit (circle all that apply)? U.S. forces, Coalition forces, Host nation, Don’t know.
Did smoke or fumes from the burn pit enter your work site or housing?
Were you ever close enough to feel the blast from an IED (improvised explosive device) or other explosive device?
Were you near heavy smoke from weapons, markers or other combat items that made breathing difficult?
Were you in convoy or other vehicle operations one or more times per week where you felt you breathed in large amounts of dust or vehicle exhaust fumes?
During your deployment(s), how often did you experience dust storms?
Have you ever worked for a year or more in any dusty job outside the military?
Have you ever been exposed to gas, smoke, chemical vapors or fumes in your non-military work?
Have you ever worked in a job with asbestos exposure, including military service?
Have you ever removed mold in your home because of its effect on your health?
Have you ever lived in a home that had elevated radon levels?
Have you been told by a doctor or other health professional that you had Hay fever or allergies to pollen, dust, or animals?
Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health care professional that you had asthma?
Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health care professional that you had chronic bronchitis?
Have you ever been told by a doctor or other health care professional that you had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease also called COPD?
Have you smoked at least 100 cigarettes in your entire life?
Have you ever smoked tobacco products other than cigarettes even one time? (Such as cigars, pipes, water pipes or hookahs, small cigars that look like cigarettes, bidis, cigarillos, marijuana?)
Are you exposed to second-hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke every day, some days, rarely, or not at all?
Did you start smoking for the first time while being deployed?
(Note: I originally published this post on Navigable Waters: A Maritime, Longshore and Defense Base Act Blog.)