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Friday, October 7, 2022

GAO: DoD Needs to Fully Assess Health Risks of Burn Pits

GAO reported burn pit emissions produced harmful effects on those exposed, and the Defense Department recommended U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) monitor burn pits in their areas.

Burn pits are “shallow excavations or surface features with berms used to conduct open-air burning” and are “often chosen as a method of waste disposal during recent contingency operations” in CENTCOM.

Due to limited information on the risks and effects of exposure levels, DoD hasn’t been able to assess the health impacts. DoD has found that “given the potential use of burn pits near installations and during future contingency operations,” they would establish “processes to monitor burn pit emissions for unacceptable exposures.” This would help the DoD and “combatant commanders to collect data that could help assess exposure to risks.”

GAO recommended improved monitoring of the pit emissions and chronic health effects associated with exposure.

Read more at GAO

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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