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News from Our Partners: VA Expands Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry Eligibility

If you deployed to Egypt, Syria, or Uzbekistan, you may now be eligible.

More than 330,000 service members and veterans have joined the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry 
(https://health.mil/News/Articles/2022/08/31/VA-Expands-Airborne-Hazards-and-Open--Burn-Pit--Registry-Eligibility) to date, and recent updates expand eligibility and make it easier to participate.

“These updates are important in that they demonstrate the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) collective resolve to keep our service members and veterans informed about the registry, support requirements in National Defense Authorization Acts, and support the recently signed Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022,” said Steve Jones, Force Readiness and Health Assurance Policy director and retired Army Environmental Science and Engineering Officer. “The DoD and VA remain committed to better understanding and mitigating the health effects of deployment-related exposures such as airborne hazards and open burn pits.”

The Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry is a secure database of health information provided by service members and veterans that helps VA collect, analyze, and publish data on health conditions that may be related to environmental exposures experienced during deployment. To participate in the registry, eligible service members and veterans fill out an online questionnaire. After completing the online questionnaire, participants have the option to discuss their health care with a provider in an optional medical evaluation.

This summer, VA added Egypt, Syria, and Uzbekistan to the list of eligible deployment locations. If you served any amount of time in the Southwest Asia theater of operations or Egypt beginning August 2, 1990, or in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, or Uzbekistan beginning September 11, 2001, you are eligible to sign up for the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry—regardless of whether you recall being exposed to airborne hazards. These regions include the following countries, bodies of water, and airspace above these locations:
 
  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Syria
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Waters of the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and Red Sea
Additionally, VA has adjusted the registry’s functionality to enable participants to return to the registry portal at any time after initial submission to add deployments. This enables you to create a more complete picture of your deployment and exposure history and can provide additional context for providers during medical evaluations.

To check whether you’ve already joined the registry, or if you would like to make additional entries in your profile, visit https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry and click “Get Started” to log in using your DS Logon Level 2 account.

If you are eligible based on your deployment history, join the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry and encourage your fellow retirees to join, too. Participation is a key component in taking control of your own health and supporting DoD and VA research efforts. In fact, registry data supported VA’s recent decisions to establish service connection for certain conditions as a result of presumed exposure to fine particulate matter. To view a full list of these conditions, please visit https://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/burnpits, and to learn what the PACT Act means for veterans’ benefits, visit www.va.gov/PACT.

Please note participation in the registry will not affect your access to health care or benefits, and it is not related to the VA disability compensation claims process. To learn more about the registry, please visit Health.mil/AHBurnPitRegistry. Here you will find a brief video, Fact Sheet, FAQs, and other informational materials. 

 

Page updated Sep 28 2022