March 18th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
9 years ago

VA to look into effects of 'burn pits' on veterans

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will study the effects of toxic emissions from burning trash at military installations in Iraq and Afghanistan on veterans, even after the Department of Defense has concluded no long-term effects exist.

Studies of the smoke from the burn pits suggests it contains dioxin and other toxins.

The extent of the VA's intention was discussed in a letter to concerned congressmen that was sent on Friday and obtained by CNN.

In the letter responding to the congressmen's inquiry on the subject, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki said he shared "concerns that some veterans could have health problems from such exposures."

"Our previous experiences with returning Vietnam War and Gulf War veterans show that we must take these concerns very seriously," he added.

Filed under: Veterans