A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Senate that aims to finally help veterans who were exposed to toxic burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The “Helping Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits Act” was introduced on Tuesday by senators Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and aims to create what they say is a ‘center of excellence” within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Many of our brave men and women in uniform were exposed to harmful substances from toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we have an obligation to care for them,” Tillis said in a statement.
Klobuchar shared Tillis’ sentiment.
“With an increasing number of our brave men and women returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan citing illnesses potentially caused by burn pits exposure, it’s clear that we can’t afford to wait,” she said.
The issue of burn pits and their use on military bases during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been referred to as “the new Agent Orange," as scores of soldiers returned home from the fight with a myriad of health issues—many of which proved lethal.
Civilian workers and private contractors are also suffering from cancer, respiratory problems and blood disorders and, like military victims, they say they are being ignored.