Exposure to specific environmental hazards
If you had contact with certain environmental hazards while serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas, you may have illnesses or other conditions believed to be caused by these toxic chemicals in the air, water, or soil. Find out if you can get disability compensation or benefits.
We’ve added more presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure
We’ve added certain respiratory (breathing-related) cancers and other respiratory conditions to the presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure. Check the list of conditions
This will expand benefits for Veterans who served in these locations:
- Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, and Uzbekistan during the Persian Gulf War, from September 19, 2001, to the present, or
- Southwest Asia from August 2, 1990, to the present
Note: If you have a pending claim for one or more of these cancers or conditions, you don’t need to do anything. We’ll send you a decision notice when we complete our review.
Am I eligible for disability benefits from VA?
You may be eligible for disability benefits if you have an illness or other condition believed to be caused by your contact with an environmental hazard while serving in the military. This may include contact with:
- Particulate matter or large burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa
- A large sulfur fire at Mishraq State Sulfur Mine near Mosul, Iraq
- Hexavalent chromium at the Qarmat Ali water treatment plant in Basra, Iraq
- Pollutants from a waste incinerator near the Naval Air Facility at Atsugi, Japan
What are the new presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure?
We’ve added these presumptive conditions related to particulate matter exposure:
Respiratory (breathing-related) cancers
- Adenocarcinoma of the trachea
- Adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung
- Large cell carcinoma of the lung
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the lung
- Salivary gland-type tumors of the trachea
- Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea
- Typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung
Other respiratory conditions
To be eligible for benefits for asthma, rhinitis, or sinusitis, you must have gotten one of these conditions within 10 years of your separation from active military service.
What kind of disability benefits can I get?
- Health care
- Compensation (payments)
How do I get these benefits?
You’ll need to file a claim for disability compensation.
Find out how to file a claim for disability compensation
When you file, you’ll have to show that your health problems are linked to your contact with certain environmental hazards while serving in the military. Be sure to send in all information (such as the Burn Pit Registry) supporting your claim that you came into contact with certain environmental hazards.
Check the Burn Pit Registry