EXPOSURES AND REGISTRIES

Studies & Data

Servicemembers and veterans from all conflicts and wars may have experienced an exposure to a wide range of chemical, physical, and environmental hazards during their military service. From the trenches of WW1 with mustard gas to today’s Operation Enduring Freedom and burn pits, the Veterans Administration has several registries for military-related exposures and resources for more information on particular injuries and diseases that may be caused by these exposures.

 

EXPOSURE CATEGORIES

 

CHEMICALS

Agent Orange
Burn pits
Sulfur Fires
Contaminated Water Supplies (Camp Lejune & other bases)
Industrial Solvents
Pesticides (Gulf War)
Depleted Uranium
Chromium
Polychlorinated biphenyl or PCBs
Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in products, including fire-fighting foams

RADIATION

Non-Ionizing: 
sunlight, microwaves, radio frequencies, radar and sonar
Ionizing:
Nuclear weapons handling and detonation
Radioactive material
Calibration and measurement sources
X-rays

AIR POLLUTANTS

Burn pits
Oil well fire
Sulfur Fire
Sand and dust particulates
Atsugi Waste Incinerator

WARFARE AGENTS

Chemical & Biological Weapons (Gulf War)
Chemical Warfare Agents (OIF, Sarin Gas)
Nerve Agent
Mustard Gas
Classified Aberdeen & Edgewood Experiments
Project 112 and Project SHAD
Herbicide Tests and Storage

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARDS

Asbestos
Industrial Solvents
Lead
Fuels
PCBs
Vibration
Noise
CARC Paint

CANCERS BY EXPOSURE TYPE

AGENT ORANGE

Chronic B-Cell Leukemias
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Multiple Myleoma
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Prostate cancer
Respiratory cancers
Soft Tissue Sarcomas

RADATION

Bile ducts, bone, brain, breast, colon, esophagus, gall bladder, liver (primary site, but not if cirrhosis or hepatitis B is indicated), lung (including bronchiolo-alveolar cancer), pancreas, pharynx, ovary, salivary gland, small intestine, stomach, thyroid, urinary tract (kidney/renal, pelvis, urinary bladder, and urethra)

AIR POLLUTANTS & WARFARE AGENTS

Lung Cancer
Soft Tissue Sarcomas
Leukemia
Multiple Myleoma
Hodgkin's Lymphoma

 

REGISTRIES

Registries for Servicemembers and Veterans for Service-Related Exposures

 

AIRBORNE HAZARDS & OPEN BURN PIT REGISTRY

OEF/OIF/OND/OFS Veterans and Servicemembers who have deployed to the Southwest Asia theater of operations on or after August 2, 1990 as well as those who have deployed to Afghanistan or Djibouti after September 11, 2001 can use the registry questionnaire to report exposures to airborne hazards (such as smoke from burn pits, oil-well fires, or pollution during deployment), as well as other exposures and health concerns.

GULF WAR REGISTRY

Veterans who served in the Gulf during Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation New Dawn are eligible for the Gulf War Registry exam.


You do not need to be enrolled in VA health care to take part.

TOXIC EMBEDDED FRAGMENT SURVEILLANCE CENTER

Baltimore, Maryland VAMC
VA’s Toxic Embedded Fragment Surveillance Center at the Baltimore VA Medical Center offers medical surveillance for Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) with embedded fragments as the result of injury received while serving in an area of conflict.
To find more information about getting an exam to get on the TEF Registry, click the link below:

DEPLETED URANIUM FOLLOW UP PROGRAM

Baltimore, Maryland VAMC
When a projectile made with DU penetrates a vehicle, small pieces of DU can scatter and become embedded in muscle and soft tissue. In addition to DU in wounds, Servicemembers exposed to DU in struck vehicles may inhale or swallow small airborne DU particles.
Some Gulf War, Bosnia, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), and Operation New Dawn (OND) Veterans who may have been exposed to DU are those who were: on, in or near vehicles hit with friendly fire; entering or near burning vehicles; near fires involving DU munitions; or salvaging damaged vehicles.
For more information on enrolling in the DUFP, click the link below:

GENERAL CANCER REGISTRIES

DOD CANCER REGISTRY PROGRAM

The Automated Central Tumor Registry (ACTUR) is the current cancer registry system in use in the Department of Defense. It was established on May 5, 1986 by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs to satisfy the Department of Defense and American College of Surgeon requirements for a comprehensive cancer data reporting system. ACTUR was developed as part of the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) to facilitate inter-hospital usage by military beneficiaries, promote the cost savings associated with a single inter-hospital system, and provide the ability to produce automated reports and studies on a DoD-wide basis. ACTUR was originally developed as muti-hospital data collection system only.

VETERANS AFFAIRS CENTRAL CANCER REGISTRY

The Veterans Affairs Central Cancer Registry (VACCR) receives and stores information on cancer diagnosis and treatment constraints compiled and sent in by the local cancer registry staff at each of the 132 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers that diagnose and/or treat Veterans with cancer.

 
Image by Dan Dimmock

FEATURED RESEARCH

Medical and Psychosocial Research on the US Military and Veteran Populations

 

CANCER INCIDENCE IN THE U.S. MILITARY POPULATION: COMPARISON WITH RATES FROM THE SEER PROGRAM

The U.S. active-duty military population may differ from the U.S. general population in its exposure to cancer risk factors and access to medical care. Yet, it is not known if cancer incidence rates differ between these two populations. We therefore compared the incidence of four cancers common in U.S. adults (lung, colorectum, prostate, and breast cancers) and two cancers more common in U.S. young adults (testicular and cervical cancers) in the military and general populations.

MEASURING FINANCIAL TOXICITY OF CANCER IN YOUNG ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY PATIENTS

Cancer can be an early setback for young active-duty patients in the military, with potential implications for their financial standing, career paths, and young families. Despite the assumption of material support for active duty military patients, cancer treatment results in increased out-of-pocket expenses and lost-opportunity costs for this group; as a result, this population is vulnerable to the “financial toxicity” of cancer care.

EVALUATION OF CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER AND MALE BREAST CANCER AT MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA: A CASE CONTROL STUDY

Findings suggested possible associations between male breast cancer and being stationed at Camp Lejeune and cumulative exposure to PCE, DCE, and vinyl chloride. TCE, PCE, DCE and vinyl chloride cumulative exposures showed possible associations with earlier age at onset of male breast cancer. However, this study was limited by small numbers of cases in high exposure categories.

The CDMRP originated in 1992 via a Congressional appropriation to foster novel approaches to biomedical research in response to the expressed needs of its stakeholders-the American public, the military, and Congress.