Today’s Veteran’s Health Concerns

Sep 12, 2011
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The United States of America is only as strong as those that protect it, and throughout history the members of the U.S. military have consistently proven their fortitude. Serving one’s country is a distinguished honor, and the skills and discipline learned during service will last a lifetime, but unfortunately there are also some health hazards that can have similar effects.

Many realize the bodily hazards of war, but often lesser-known health hazards of everyday military service go unexamined. Among the many dangers are exposures to toxic or disease causing agents. Asbestos is a natural fiber that has had an impact on many military members, as it was once used in many types of building materials, and automotive products. Today, it is mostly encountered overseas by those in dilapidated buildings; however, exposure can happen on U.S. soil. Breathing in these fibers can cause lung cancer, rare aggressive disease mesothelioma, and asbestosis. CARC paint also poses a problem, as it is chemical agent used in the painting of military vehicles. Dry CARC paint isn’t threatening, but breathing in the fumes during application can cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and in extreme cases, kidney damage (Hazardous Exposures – Public Health, 2011).

Chromium is a natural metal, used for making steel, which is another hazard. Once chromium makes it inside the body as shrapnel, or via contaminated water it can cause respiratory issues, lung cancer, and allergic reactions. Lead is also a danger through means drinking water and shrapnel, as well as dust particles. Lead poisoning can cause anemia, nervous system malfunction, body weakness, reproductive problems, brain and kidney damage, and possibly death. Another common military exposure is radiation. Exposure to high energy radiation resulting from nuclear weapons testing, or a close proximity to radioactive materials often causes numerous cancers and other diseases such as cataracts, brain tumors, and thyroid malfunctions.

Other issues that might cause health problems, both during and after military service, are chemical and biological warfare constituents, exposure to depleted uranium, loud noise, excessive vibration, chemicals in smoke, herbicides, certain vaccinations, pesticides, anti-nerve agents, infectious disease, and cold or heat injuries (Hazardous Exposures – Public Health, 2011).

Being a member of the United States Military can be a very rewarding job, but it comes with many dangers. If you or someone you know is a veteran, or is currently enlisted, and is experiencing illness that might be attributed to military service, please be sure to visit your local VA hospital.

Author: Douglas Karr

  • Mesothelioma

    Removal of asbestos and materials containing asbestos would a very good idea. You might also be at risk if you live near large mining stations or factories that could use asbestos as an ingredient or in their manufacturing process. Make sure that you have a test taken once every year to avoid health problems in the future.

  • Skin health

    really a gr8 research for people who really don’t know. Skin cells are
    really imporant to take care of, intead of taking care of upper skin..