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Military Families Military Families

Doctor to release findings on toxic dust from Iraq

Posted by on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM
  • 11 Replies

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/doctor-to-release-findings-on-toxic-dust-from-iraq/

There is a video that accompanies the story if you go to the page.

Quote:

There are new developments coming this week in a story CBS News has been reporting on since last spring. A mysterious lung illness is affecting veterans who were exposed to open burn pits, which the U.S. military used in Iraq and Afghanistan to torch everything from batteries to body parts.

This week, those veterans, including Army combat medic Will Thompson, may finally get some answers.

Thompson was often the life of the party while stationed in Iraq in 2004.

Today, at age 43, he's an outpatient at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia. The recipient of a double lung transplant, he is struggling to stay alive.

"I want to live as long as I can, and if this mask can give me a couple more years, then that's what I am going to do," he said.

Thompson says the issues began during his second Iraqi deployment near Camp Victory in 2009.

"We did notice a couple of times when I was Skyping with him, 'Why are you coughing so much?'" said his wife, Suzanne.

Thompson was initially diagnosed with pneumonia. But once back home in West Virginia with his wife and their two children, he saw his own doctor.

"He said, 'This is way worse than pneumonia. This is something else. Your lungs look like an 80-year-old smoker, coal miner,'" Suzanne said.

By the spring of 2010, doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center had diagnosed Thompson with severe pulmonary fibrosis. Their biopsy revealed titanium, magnesium and iron in his lung tissue.

Suzanne Thompson called Dr. Anthony Szema, a professor at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, who has been analyzing dust from Iraq and its impact on veterans’ lung function.

"I wanted to  make sure he got some of Will's old lung tissue because I said, ‘What happened to Will, happened to Will, and we can't change that. But if there's anything we can do to help other soldiers, we want to do that.'"

In March 2013, Szema told CBS News that dust from Camp Victory was “very toxic.”

Fourteen percent of the veterans he studied return with some sort of lung complication.

This week, Szema will present the result of his team's analysis of Camp Victory dust to a Pentagon subcommittee.

"After one month of exposure of sub-lethal doses of this dust, we can see septate thickening or lung fibrosis in the mice lungs," Szema said. "So, if we give a larger dose, it will kill the mouse. Eventually in a human, that would lead to a lung transplant."

Suzanne Thompson says she has no doubt her husband's illness was contracted in Iraq.

"I truly believe this happened in Iraq. He was fine before he left. He was perfectly healthy," she said.

"I hope and pray that my husband will be here with me to grow old and gray," she said, fighting tears. "This has changed me by just taking each day at a time," she said.

The Pentagon told CBS News that "nothing is more important to us than the health and well-being of our people."

"We take seriously the concerns associated with exposure to airborne hazards and continue to study the possible long-term health effects of this type of exposure during deployments," said the statement from Pentagon press secretary Navy Rear Adm. John F. Kirby. 

 


by on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM
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Replies (1-10):
.oOMellyOo.
by Silver Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

That's awful :(

SlapItHigh
by Gold Member on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM
So sad :(
jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on Feb. 10, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Indeed it is horrid and the gvt doesn't care as much as they say they do.

violinjewel
by Julia on Feb. 10, 2014 at 12:16 PM
My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/
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adrianna1043
by Adrianna on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM
Oh, no that's horrible:( My husband told me about the open burning trash pits while he was over there. I had no idea it was this bad.

Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:18 PM

The DAV has a burn pit registry.  If your dh was over there, he should look into that registry. 

Quoting adrianna1043: Oh, no that's horrible:( My husband told me about the open burning trash pits while he was over there. I had no idea it was this bad.

Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/



violinjewel
by Julia on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:23 PM
I'll have mine look that up. Thank-you for the info.

Quoting jas_momof2:

The DAV has a burn pit registry.  If your dh was over there, he should look into that registry. 

Quoting adrianna1043: Oh, no that's horrible:( My husband told me about the open burning trash pits while he was over there. I had no idea it was this bad.



Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/


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jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on Feb. 10, 2014 at 1:33 PM
2 moms liked this

You're welcome :)  Our scout charter organization is the DAV.  We have learned a thing or two by having him as our rep.  The burn pit registry was one of them.

Quoting violinjewel: I'll have mine look that up. Thank-you for the info.

Quoting jas_momof2:

The DAV has a burn pit registry.  If your dh was over there, he should look into that registry. 

Quoting adrianna1043: Oh, no that's horrible:( My husband told me about the open burning trash pits while he was over there. I had no idea it was this bad.



Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/




darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 10, 2014 at 6:50 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this:(

Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/


violinjewel
by Julia on Feb. 10, 2014 at 7:46 PM
Thank-you. Just day to day, but that's how we live our lives.

Quoting adrianna1043: Oh, no that's horrible:( My husband told me about the open burning trash pits while he was over there. I had no idea it was this bad.



Quoting violinjewel: My husband has some lung issues the VA is currently monitoring. They developed after his 2009-2010 Iraq deployment. This sounds similar to what he's dealing with:/
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