Senator Jon Tester is calling on the VA to safeguard the health of American veterans by establishing a list of burn pits used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan to dispose of waste materials.

Tester is a sponsor of the bipartisan Open Burn Pit Registry Act, which requires the VA to document the locations of open-air burn pits.  The bill would properly document troops’ exposure to open burn pits used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Studies show that burn pits – makeshift incinerators used to dispose of waste in war zones – release toxic particles into the air that have been linked to several respiratory and neurological ailments, as well as cancer.

“We’ve got to do everything we can now to identify health concerns and make sure our troops have the support they deserve if those concerns cause problems in the future,” Tester said. “That’s why it is critical that we honor their sacrifice by making sure that they get first-rate medical treatment once they return home, and for the rest of their lives.”

Tester’s measure also calls for an independent organization to perform a study on the health effects of open-air burn pits, which burn everything from unexploded ordnance, to batteries and medical waste.

A copy of Tester’s bipartisan Open Burn Pit Registry Act is available on his website HERE.