Posted : Wednesday Jun 10, 2009 17:11:21 EDT
Sponsors of a bill aimed at more tightly regulating the use of open-air burn pits for waste disposal in Iraq and Afghanistan will hold a news conference Thursday to highlight the effects on troops of possible exposure to toxins from burn-pit smoke. “There is mounting evidence that veterans may be ill — and some may have actually died — as a result of exposure to dangerous toxins produced by the pits,” Rep. Tim Bishop, D-N.Y., said in a statement. Bishop co-sponsored the bill with Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H. The news conference will feature veterans who say they were sickened by the plumes, as well as an epidemiologist who specializes in the health risks associated with exposure to burn pits, which are used at bases throughout Iraq and Afghanistan. The legislation, HR 2419, prohibits building burn pits on new bases that military officials know will exist for more than six months, and it calls for tracking all troops exposed to the black plumes that come from the pits.