The effects of exposure to documented open-air burn pits on respiratory health among deployers of the millennium cohort study

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate respiratory illnesses and potential open-air burn pit exposure among Millennium Cohort participants who deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. METHODS: Using multivariable logistic regression, newly reported chronic bronchitis or emphysema, newly reported asthma, and self-reported respiratory symptoms and possible burn pit exposure within 2, 3, or 5 miles were examined among Army and Air Force deployers surveyed in 2004 to 2006 and 2007 to 2008 (n = 22,844). RESULTS: Burn pit exposure within 3 or 5 miles was not associated with respiratory outcomes after statistical adjustment. Increased symptom reporting was observed among Air Force deployers located within 2 miles of Joint Base Balad; however, this finding was marginally significant with no evidence of trend. CONCLUSION: In general, these findings do not support an elevated risk for respiratory outcomes among personnel deployed within proximity of documented burn pits in Iraq. Copyright © 2012 by American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Smith, B., Wong, C. A., Boyko, E. J., Phillips, C. J., Gackstetter, G. D., Ryan, M. A. K., & Smith, T. C. (2012). The effects of exposure to documented open-air burn pits on respiratory health among deployers of the millennium cohort study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 54(6), 708–716. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0b013e31825107f9

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