Many Iraq/Afghanistan veterans were exposed to toxic chemicals from burn pits. Burn pits were used to dispose of many items that gave off harmful chemicals when burned. These chemicals include some of the same chemicals found in Agent Orange. Veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan may find that they have lung problems or other health problems that they did not have prior to deployment. The VA has not linked any illnesses to burn pit exposure. However, if you were exposed to smoke from a burn pit and now have lung problems, skin problems, or other health issues you did not have prior to deployment, you may qualify for VA compensation.
The government has also recently admitted that a number of Iraq veterans were exposed to chemicals from chemical weapons, left over from the Saddam’s army, that either were leaking or were disposed of improperly. This includes such chemicals such as mustard gas and other very toxic substances. If you think you were exposed to these chemical weapons and now have lung, skin or other health problems, you may be entitled to compensation.
As the VA does not presume that exposure to chemicals causes any illnesses, you need medical proof to connect your illness to exposure to burn pits or chemical weapons. The VA will most likely deny the claim at the first stage. However, you can appeal, and this is where a lawyer can help you with the case by putting together evidence to convince the VA that you were exposed to chemicals and that they caused your illness.