FALL 2018

Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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14 Navy | Fall 2018 AUSN Legislation Hub Burn Pits Accountability Act (HR 5671) What does this bill do? T he Burn Pits Accountability Act (HR 5671) would direct the Secretary of Defense to include in periodic health assessments and physical examinations whether a member of the armed forces was exposed to open "burn pits." Burn pits are sites that were used for open-air burning of trash in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because much of this waste included plastic and other material that emits toxic compounds when burned, exposure to burn pits may have exposed veterans to health problems. How is it relevant to sailors/veterans? …e evidence suggests that these open-air trash †res exposed veterans to respiratory, neurological, and other health problems. Due to increasing concerns about burn pits, Congress told the VA in 2013 to set up a registry of veterans who were exposed to these burn pits, and more than 142,000 have signed up so far, according to the New York Times. What is AUSN's position on it? AUSN believes that the nation has an obligation to care for service members and veterans exposed to toxins in the line of duty. …e VA has acknowledged that service members were exposed to toxins from burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and therefore AUSN endorses the Burn Pits Accountability Act. It is a vital †rst step to identify service members and veterans who were exposed to airborne toxins, and we believe follow-up legislation should fund the care and claims of service-connected disabilities due to exposure to these burn pits. Where does the bill stand now? …e bill was referred to the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel and health subcommittees on May 1 and May 2 (the bill was introduced May 1). It currently remains in committee. PIXABAY

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