Deploying to the middle east, soldiers would never expect one of the greatest threats to their health would come from sand. According to a Naval researcher, however, this is exactly the situation. This could be found to explain Gulf War Syndrome dating back to 1991, as well as other medical conditions plaguing soldiers who have been and/or are deployed to the Middle East.
The sand the soldiers are inhaling has been found to contain dust particles containing various metals, bacteria, and fungi, which combine to form toxic mixtures. Researchers collected dust particle samples from Iraq and Kuwait, and what they found was somewhat shocking.
The dust particles they collected contained up to 37 metals, including:
- strontium; and
Some of the metals researchers uncovered in the dust particles are naturally occurring. Others, however, are the direct result of pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has connected many of the metals discovered in the dust particles to multiple health disorders, which include:
- neurological disorders;
- respiratory problems;
- depression; and
- heart disease.
One researcher believes these discoveries are the “smoking gun.” Everything from the presence of specific metals in the dust, to the symptoms caused by exposure seem to fit as an explanation for the various illnesses affecting soldiers.
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