Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

Public Health

Quick Links
Veterans Crisis Line Badge
My healthevet badge

Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Exposures

How to Get Care

VA health care is available to Veterans who may have been exposed to burn pits or other environmental hazards. If you are concerned about the potential health effects of environmental exposures we encourage you to talk to your health care provider,  apply for VA health care,  and file a claim for compensation and benefits.

Male reviewing information on an iPad

If you served in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan or Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or New Dawn (OND) in Iraq, you can receive free VA health care for up to 5 years after separation.

Taking advantage of this enhanced eligibility period may help your VA claim for compensation, benefits, and health care later. Veterans who served in other campaigns and regions or during other time periods can check their eligibility for VA health care.

  • Your eligibility may depend on when and where you served, for how long, or if you were discharged due to a disability that was the result of or made worse by something that happened to you while on active duty.
  • To receive financial compensation and benefits for health conditions related to your military service, including burn pit exposure, you must file a VA claim.

Service Connection for Airborne Hazard Exposures

Currently, VA evaluates each individual Veteran’s circumstances on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the health conditions they are experiencing are connected to their exposure to airborne hazards.

Through this process, we consider the unique experiences and needs of each Veteran including:

Four photos of individuals representing the unique characteristics that make up this group of Veterans.
  • Your number of deployments
  • The length and proximity of your exposure
  • The presence of other air pollution and other environmental hazards

If you are concerned about the health effects of your exposure to airborne hazards, talk to your health care provider and visit the resources below:

Download free viewer and reader software to view PDF, video and other file formats.