The constant pairing of images of soldiers shoveling waste into smoldering burn pits with stories about soldier’s health problems has led to the misconception that burn pits are the sole cause of their ailments. They toxins service members are exposed to through the burn pits are no doubt harmful but they are only a small part of the totality of toxic material exposure. Fuel, chemicals, exhaust, ammunition, and explosive exposure will vary depending on position but just about everyone will be exposed to something dangerous at some point. Assuming respiratory and other illnesses only stem from burnpit exposure hinders the proper response and advocation for preventative practices.
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