Burn Pit Exposure and Civilian Contractors

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Have you been exposed to toxic fumes while working as a civilian contractor overseas near burn pits? We understand the many medical complications you may have suffered from prolonged exposure. No one should suffer lifelong illness or death for being exposed to burn pits while working overseas for their country. 

Have You or a Loved One Developed an Illness Due to Burn Pit Exposure?

If you or your loved one has developed an illness due to burn pit exposure, you are eligible for compensation. The Defense base act covers any losses you may have incurred due to disease or illness that originated from burn pits. As a federal contractor, your claim can include medical costs, lost wages, and additional losses. You can build a strong case with the right attorney to claim compensation due to burn pit exposure. 



What are Burn Pits?

Burn pits are a common method to dispose of anything unwanted by the U.S. military currently working offshore sites. These pits are areas that are open from the top and are used to burn anything solid. This can include food, waste, rubber, trash, and chemicals. The burn pits are used as an onsite disposal system that ensures anything unwanted can be properly disposed of. 

Where Were Burn Pits Used?

The burn pits are a common practice of the U.S. military while working overseas. These are located on the U.S. military base in foreign lands such as those in Africa, parts of Asia, and the Middle East. Among the many countries, a few of the popular ones are:

  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • Kuwait
  • Syria
  • Djibouti
  • Qatar

If you were deployed in any locations where burn pits were used, you might have faced medical complications. This also means that you can have your case assessed and find out if your illness traces back to exposure to toxic fumes.  


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What Illnesses Can Result from Burn Pit Exposure?

Multiple short-term and long-term illnesses were reported due to exposure to burn pit fumes. The burn pits were used to burn a series of objects and chemicals. As there were no limitations on what could be burned in a burn pit, many illnesses were seen due to exposure. 

The burning of chemicals, equipment, and petroleum products released dangerous fumes into the open. These fumes exposed the workers and contractors to develop many illnesses as a result. These illnesses are divided into two categories, both of which are categorized below: 

Short-term illnesses include: 

  • Itchy skin
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Rashes
  • Burning throat
  • Cough
  • Red eyes or irritation

Depending on the exposure time, these illnesses can vary from person to person. Problems with respiration, cancers, and autoimmune disorders may be seen in one or more of the areas mentioned. 

Long-term illnesses include problems with:

  • Lungs
  • Central nervous system 
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Heart
  • Reproductivity
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Kidney and liver
  • Skin

How Can Contractors Receive Compensation for Burn Pit Injuries?

Contractors can receive compensation for burn pit injuries under the Defense Base Act claim. A contractor can assess losses due to a burn pit with the right DBA claim attorney. These include any losses sustained due to burning pit exposures or injuries for civilian contractors.


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Not Available through VA Since They are Contractors

Military personnel can claim losses due to burn pit exposure under the VA. However, the same cannot be said for civilian contractors. These defense contract workers are not covered under the VA as they are not military personnel. Currently, the burn pit registry and the Veterans Burn Pit Exposure Recognition Act is in motion. 

Not Much Attention Put on Contractors

The above initiatives have made it easy for veterans to claim compensation for injuries sustained by burn pits. However, the same cannot be said for civilian contractors, as not much is being done to ease their claims. There are no special programs or registries for civilian contractors. To claim compensation, you must find all you can about the Defense Base Act claim. You can claim your losses from sustaining burn pit injuries through this act. 

However, with the right defense base act attorney, any civilian contractor can assess their claims and ensure they get the compensation they deserve.

Hiring an Attorney to Help with a Burn Pit Claim

Hiring the right attorney is the most crucial step to securing your burn pit claim. You can get all the information about your burn pit claim with the right DBA attorney. An attorney can help you collect evidence that will strengthen your case. The team will also analyze the losses you have incurred in wages lost and the cost of medication or treatment. 

Howard Grossman

With over 40 years of experience, Howard Grossman is one of the leading personal injury attorneys in Boca Raton, Florida. He has a reputation for his accessibility, compassion, and tenacious trial preparation. Howard has litigated through complex claims ranging from medical malpractice, jones act, defense base act claims, longshore injuries, boating accidents, maritime injuries, product liability, wrongful death, and cruise ship injury cases.

Comments 15

  1. David johnson says:

    Good afternoon,

    I was a contractor with KBR in Kabul from 2005-2006 and in Kuwait with KBR in 2007-2008 and then back to Afghanistan with Fluor 2018-2019.
    Since my return back in the states I have had sinusitis and rhinitis as well as sleep apnea.
    I have a constant running nose, nasal congestion, and after talking for several short minutes start to loose my voice, get dry throat, and a burning sensation. The throat dryness and burning affects my daily work activities when I have to talk for any periods of time.
    Is there any recourse that I have under DBA?

  2. Trise Sullins says:

    I wanted to reach out to you in regards to entitements due me if any. I was a contractor in Afghanistan for 10 years. During this time I was directly exposed to excessive amount of Burn pit pollution. The Burn Pit’s were only a few blocks away. I have a few medical issues but would like to discuss this matter with you at your earliest convenience.

    Thank you,
    Trise Sullins

  3. Jesse Dalby says:

    Recently, I have had medical issues and multiple tests have been performed. The VA Hospital i has been in charge of my most recent care because I am a 10% disabled veteran from 1975 with the Marine Corps. I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia / Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver at the end of the year. I have also had some other medical issues since deploying that could be related to Burn Pits.

    For background information, I was exposed to burn pits in Fallujah Iraq in 2006 and Kabul Afghanistan 2007. The medical issues I am having are presumptive disease related to Burn Pits per the Pact Act, which
    allows active duty to get compensation for the health issues. The Civilians that lived in the same place and rode with the military on the same roads were left out of the Pact Act. The personnel at the VA Hospital instructed me to register on the Burn Pit Registry but I was turned down because I was not on active duty. I was deployed overseas as a Military Construction Civil Engineer and worked as a technical expert for the military. My employer was the Department of Defense .

    I had pre and post deployment physicals with the military that was deploying to the Middle East. I have memo from the Deputy Secretary of Defense that states “Additionally, deployed DoD civilian employees who later identify compensable illness, diseases, wounds or injuries under the DoL OWC programs also eligible for treatment in an MTF or private sector medical facility at no cost to them.” It states that DoD civilians are to be treated at the same level and scope provided to military personnel. I also have a memo from Under Secretary of Defense that all efforts must be made to get volunteers to go to Iraq and Afghanistan give them promotions etc.

    The Government promised the world and then when you get sick, you’re on your own. There are many civilians that are sick and do not even know it yet. If not for being a veteran I would have hundreds of thousands in medical bills I would be paying. It is not right. I have letter stating I save the Government millions of dollars while deployed and all I got was cancer for my efforts

  4. Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

    Please contact us at the Grossman Law Firm so we may discuss the details around your potential DBA claim.

  5. Turihohabwe Medad says:

    Im a Ugandan by nationality , i workrd in Iraq as a security guard for 6 years under SOC SMG, I dont know whether you can as well help me i and some of the guys i worked with while there have complications which doctors say that they resulted from toxic fumes of burn pits

    • Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

      We handle Defense Base Act claims worldwide and have helped many international clients. Please give our offices a call so that we can get the details surrounding your case.

  6. Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

    Hi Mark. We’ve received your intake form and will be contacting you shortly to gather more information. We look forward to speaking with you.

  7. Jewelean Sample says:

    I was in Afghanistan working as a civilian contractor when I was exposed to military burn pits. I was diagnosed with cancer while in Afghanistan and I believe the cancer was from exposure to the Military burn pit. Please contact me.

    • Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

      Hi Jewelean. Please contact our offices directly so that we may get the details and determine if you have a claim.

  8. Thomas Orzechowski says:

    I served in Iraq for seven months in 2003 and 2004. At the time I was a civilian GS 13 1811 Special Ageng of the NCIS. I was exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Kuwait. In 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer of the neck, throat and lymph nodes. I am currently in remission but still suffer the long term effects of my extensive radiation and chemotherapy. Your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    • Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

      Hi Thomas. Please contact our law firm using either our website or the phone number listed at the bottom of this article (above the comments). Our staff will take your information and an attorney will follow up. Thank you!

  9. James Adamcheck says:

    I was a contractor in Iraq from 2006 to 2007 as a Police Advisor for Dyncorp. My first assignment was in Sulimanayah and our camp was about 2000 meters down wind from a large chicken farm. On a daily basis we were exposed to the airborne stuff being blown our way from the chicken farm.

    I later went to Camp Liberty/Victory in Baghdad and was living in the containers directly behind (across the road) from the camp’s burn pits.

    Since that time I have been treated for and had polyps removed from my throat, have a constant running nose, nasal congestion, and after talking for several short minutes start to loose my voice, get dry throat, and a burning sensation. The throat dryness and burning affects my daily work activities when I have to talk for any periods of time.

    Is there any recourse that I have under DBA?

  10. Norman Burgess says:

    Good morning, I did inspection of the burn pits for KBR while working as a contractor, I now required to wear a CPAP at night but I am unable to tolerate the CPAP so I am getting maybe 3-4 hour of rest a day.

  11. Attorney Howard Grossman Howard Grossman says:

    Hi Sherrie. I’m sorry that you weren’t contacted in a timely manner. Please give us a call. We’ve seen an explosion of potential cases and our intake team has been truly overwhelmed the last few weeks. We’re working on training more staff but in the meantime, a phone call during normal business hours is the best way to reach us!

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