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Military Occupational Exposure to Radiation

Various military occupations include routine and usually safe exposure to radiation. Servicemembers in these occupations receive special training and are monitored to ensure radiation exposure remains at safe levels.

Technicians  adjusts x-ray equipment

Photo: U.S. Navy

This group includes Veterans who:

  • Served on nuclear submarines and other nuclear ships or in shipyards
  • Were involved in nuclear weapons handling and maintenance, including clean-ups after accidents
  • Served as X-ray or dental technicians

Potential health risks

VA recognizes certain cancers and other diseases as linked to exposure to ionizing radiation during military service. Eligibility for VA compensation depends on a number of factors, such as the radiation dose and when the disease develops.

Health concerns?

If you are concerned about radiation exposure during military service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.

Veterans not enrolled in the VA health care system, find out if you qualify for VA health care.

Need help determining exposure?

VA can help determine exposure during military service after you file a claim for compensation benefits for health problems associated with radiation exposure during service.

Environmental health coordinators directory
Find out if you’re eligible: Health Benefits Explorer


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