Exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials
Learn about chemical hazards or other hazardous materials you may have come in contact with during military service. And find out if you can get VA disability compensation for illnesses or conditions related to these exposures. We call these presumptive conditions.
Medical care for volunteers involved in chemical and biological testing
As many as 60,000 Veterans volunteered for medical research for the U.S. biological and chemical programs between 1942 and 1975. You can get medical care through the U.S. Army if you volunteered for this research and have an injury or illness directly caused by your participation.
If you have questions or need help getting medical care:
Types of exposure
If you served in the Republic of Vietnam or in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) during the Vietnam Era—or in certain related jobs—you may have had contact with Agent Orange, an herbicide used to clear plants and trees during the war.
If you worked in certain military jobs, you may have had contact with asbestos (toxic fibers once used in many buildings and products).
Birth defects like spina bifida
If you served in the Republic of Vietnam, in Thailand, or in or near the Korean DMZ during the Vietnam Era—and your child has spina bifida or certain other birth defects—your child may be eligible for disability benefits.
Burn pits and other specific environmental hazards
If you served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or certain other areas, you may have had contact with toxic chemicals in the air, water, or soil.
Contact with mustard gas or lewisite
If you served at the German bombing of Bari, Italy, in World War II or worked in certain other jobs, you may have had contact with mustard gas.
Contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune
If you served at Camp Lejeune or MCAS New River between August 1953 and December 1987, you may be at risk of certain illnesses believed to be caused by contaminants found in the drinking water during that time.
Gulf War Illnesses in Southwest Asia
If you served in the Southwest Asia theater of operations, you may be at risk of certain illnesses or other conditions linked to this region.
Gulf War Illnesses in Afghanistan
If you served in Afghanistan, you may be at risk of certain illnesses or other conditions linked to this region.
Project 112 or Project SHAD
If you were part of warfare testing for Project 112 or Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) from 1962 to 1974, you may be at risk of illnesses believed to be caused by chemical testing.
If you served in the post-WWII occupation of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, were imprisoned in Japan, worked with or near nuclear weapons testing, or served at a gaseous diffusion plant or in certain other jobs, you may be at risk of illnesses believed to be caused by radiation.