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Get more information on the Veterans Benefits Banking Program
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Specific Environmental Hazards

Servicemembers may have been exposed to environmental hazards at military installations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. These hazards as identified by the Department of Defense (DoD) include:

  • Large pit burns throughout Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti on the Horn of Africa
  • Particulate matter in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • A large sulphur fire at Mishraq State Sulphur Mine near Mosul, Iraq
  • Hexavalent chromium exposure at the Qarmat Ali Water Treatment Plant at Basrah, Iraq
  • Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, between 1957 and 1987 (See our Camp Lejeune page for more information.)
  • Pollutants from a waste incinerator near the Naval Air Facility at Atsugi, Japan.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • You must have a disability due to your exposure to an environmental hazard during military service.
  • You must have been exposed to an environmental hazard during military service.

Evidence Requirements

  • The evidence must show you have a disability, or at least a symptom, or cluster of symptoms, due to exposure to any specific environmental hazard. Exposure in and of itself is not a disability.
  • The evidence must show you participated in or were affected by an in-service exposure event. VA will obtain your service records, to include your Post-Deployment Health Assessment and Discharge Examination for exposure information.

In the absence of military records that show exposure to environmental hazards, VA may consider alternate evidence such as personal statements, buddy statements, unit histories, news articles, and other lay evidence. For instance, a Veteran's lay statement of burn pit exposure in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Djibouti will be considered. VA will consider this with the facts, places, and circumstances of service as a fact of record.

How to Apply

For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit our How to Apply page.