Veterans Disability for Lung Problems Associated with Toxic Exposures in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Pentagon is reviewing policy to determine if it should require baseline lung testing, according to an article appearing on Medical Daily website, due to the increasing number of lung problems caused by toxic exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, of the nearly two million men and women who have spent time in those wars, 14 percent complain of lung problems according to a study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine cited by the article.

Thousands of vets express concerns regarding exposure to smoke, dust and refuse/sulfur burned in huge pits. Baseline lung testing could help prove the severity of the condition when comparing function before exposure to afterwards. This could make a significant difference in the disability rating assigned when filing for benefits, though some question whether the testing would be helpful, according to the article.

One type of condition that can affect veterans is constrictive bronchiolitis. A study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 found that of 49 previously healthy soldiers who had unexplained symptoms like shortness of breath and diminished tolerance of exercise, 38 had characteristics that may indicate diagnosis of constrictive bronchiolitis, which may be related to inhalation exposure.

A decision hasn’t been made yet concerning mandatory baseline lung testing. For now, Congress has ordered that the Pentagon establish an online registry, according to the Medical Daily article. This would allow veterans to report exposure to toxins and the effects it’s had on their health.

Although lung conditions connected to military service can lead to disability benefits, there may be concerns about the disability rating assigned. If it’s too low, the claim was denied or there are questions about eligibility for benefits, consult with legal counsel. An attorney at the Law Offices of Veterans Help Group could also provide assistance with gathering the necessary evidence to prove a disabling condition. Contact us today at 855-855-8992 or contact us online.