U.S. to study toxic air’s effects on veterans

The federal government is making a more concerted effort to understand, treat and identify medical conditions for troops exposed to toxic environments. Respiratory illnesses and cancers are prevalent to servicemen exposed to air pollution overseas.


National News

November 11, 2021 - 9:55 AM

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Darryl Sterling tosses unserviceable uniform items into a burn pit at Balad Air Base, Iraq, on March 10, 2008. Photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter/US Air Force/TNS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden, whose son Beau was an Iraq war veteran, is using his first Veterans Day in office to announce an effort to better understand, treat and identify medical conditions suffered by troops deployed to toxic environments.

It centers on lung problems suffered by troops who breathe in toxins and the potential connection between rare respiratory cancers and time spent overseas breathing poor air, according to senior White House officials. Federal officials plan to start by examining lung and breathing problems but said they will expand the effort as science identifies potential new connections.

Biden planned to travel to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia on Thursday to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony and deliver remarks.

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