Jon Stewart Uses Platform to Shed Light on Burn Pit Exposure!
Former host of Comedy Central television show, The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is using his platform as a celebrity to help bring attention to burn pit exposure, and how it’s negatively impacted so many United States Veterans and 9/11 First Responders.
Many reports have likened burn pit exposure to Agent Orange, a type of defoliant that has made Vietnam Veterans ill for decades – and, a large number of Veterans that were impacted are not in any way covered by the VA.
Stewart, along with Dem. Kirsten Gillibrand, N.Y. and Dem. Raul Ruiz, C.A., former VA Secretary, David Shulkin, and John Feal, a well-known Veterans advocate all spoke out at a press conference this past Tuesday.
The main focus of which is a new proposed bill, the Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act of 2020.
In a statement, Gillibrand said that she is actively looking for Republican co-sponsors of this bill, and hopes that many support it, as they’ve supported similar bills in the past.
At the time that this blog is being released, the VA is quoted on their website as saying that there are no studies showing long-term health complications due to burn pits.
These people see it differently.
‘When is America going to start acting like the great country we keep telling ourselves we are?’ said Stewart.
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I Served in Iraq/Afghanistan, What Risks Should I Be Looking For?
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs is aware that anyone who served in Afghanistan, under Operation Enduring Freedom, from October 7th, 2001 to the present day, was unfortunately at risk for being exposed to a multitude of hazardous conditions, including:
- Burn Pits: Troops were exposed to open-air waste disposal consisting of burning chemicals, paint, medical & human waste, munititions, petroleum, plastic, rubber, wood, and discarded food.
- Cold Injuries: Being in and around the mountain regions of Afghanistan caused troops to endure harsh winters with freezing temperatures, leading to hypothermia, frostbite, and other various cold-weather conditions.
- Depleted Uranium: The United States military used depleted uranium inside of any of its armor-piercing projectiles. The element itself is far less radioactive than traditional uranium but it is unfortunately just as toxic, and serious health problems can still result from internal exposure, inhalation, and/or ingestion.
- Mefloquine: This anti-malaria drug poses serious side-effects to many, including anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, muscle fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and/or lung problems.
- Noise: Hearing loss is a direct result of loud explosions, and can also play a major role in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Occupational Hazards: Working with heavy machinery, or industrial chemicals can lead to occupational illnesses.
- Rabies: This can be contracted through animal bites or contact with saliva from an already infected animal.
- Sand, Dust, and Particulates: Afghanistan’s southern region is primarily desert terrain and the inhalation of fine particulates is clearly unavoidable in every way.
- Toxic Embedded Fragments: Shrapnel that is contaminated with toxic embedded fragments can potentially push deadly chemicals into the bloodstream.
- Traumatic Brain Injury/Injuries: Explosions or projectiles can produce concussive force, and can also penetrate the skull destroying brain tissue, ruining cognitive impairment.
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