A disturbing trend related to exposure to burn pits while deployed, recently detailed in a Wounded Warrior Project survey, has been noted by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But more research is needed before any changes to presumptive illnesses and benefits can be considered, according to a top VA official.
The VA currently lacks the scientific evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to burn pits and a variety of illnesses, but the WWP survey released last week will be taken into account, said Dr. Carolyn Clancy, the VA’s deputy under secretary for Discovery, Education and Affiliate Networks.
At a Brookings Institution forum last week on the WWP survey, Clancy said of burn pit exposures, “We’re learning a lot about it. We won’t stop until we get some of these answers” to questions on whether presumptive illnesses can be approved for veterans exposed to burn pits.
Clancy said the VA is working with the National Academy of Sciences on research into burn pit exposures. “It is a very big focus for us,” she said. More…