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January 23, 2019

When I was serving in Afghanistan, trash and human waste were often burned in open air pits. In the last 30 years alone, over 140,000 United States’ service members have reported exposure to similar burn pits and the toxic airborne chemicals they produce. That is far too many, and the number of unreported exposures is likely higher.

Exposure to these toxic burn pits has caused an alarming number of our service members to experience potentially life-threatening health effects including neurological disorders and rare forms of cancer. This crisis is quickly becoming the Agent Orange of our generation, and it must be stopped.

That’s why I helped introduce the bipartisan Burn Pits Accountability Act to evaluate the exposure of U.S. service members’ and veterans to open burn pits and toxic airborne chemicals so we can properly treat these service-related illnesses.

The men and women who risked their lives for our country deserve the best care our country can offer, and this legislation will go a long way toward getting them the care they have earned. Anything less is simply unacceptable!


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