VA Considers Addition of 3 Cancers to Toxic Exposure List

The department is reviewing the conditions for possible coverage under the PACT Act.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reviewing whether three additional types of cancer should be included in the list of conditions presumed to be caused by exposure to toxic smoke from military burn pits and poor air quality in combat zones. This review could potentially make thousands of veterans eligible for expedited disability benefits.

The cancers currently under consideration are acute leukemias, chronic leukemias, and multiple myeloma outside of the head and neck, affecting veterans who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and much of Southwest Asia. These veterans were exposed to a combination of dust, pollution, and smoke from military waste fires, which potentially contributed to the development of these diseases.

The VA’s focus on toxic exposure issues increased following the passage of the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act) a year ago. This legislation mandated probable benefit status for 12 types of cancer and 12 respiratory illnesses related to burn pit exposure during the Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the War in Iraq. The act also extended benefits to conditions like hypertension among Vietnam veterans and radiation-related illnesses for veterans who served in the 1960s and early 1970s.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for Secretary Denis McDonough as he heads the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • For VA officials as they review the cancers and their possible links to toxic exposure.

Sources: Military Times, UPI


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