There are various types of water contamination, and the PACT Act can address how even the most minor exposure can negatively affect someone’s health. On a larger scale, this law helps spread awareness of how water contamination, toxic chemicals, hazardous exposures, and poisonous waste may negatively impact people and their families for the duration of their lives.
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You may have heard that the US Senate recently passed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act, better known as the PACT Act. This is the most significant expansion of Veteran Affairs healthcare in years. It provides healthcare and benefits for veterans who may have been exposed to toxins through water contamination either during active duty, during training, or inactive training.
It’s no secret that there have been cases of toxins in military bases, but the health impacts are becoming more prevalent as the latency period ends. More veterans are affected by asthma, respiratory ailments, and cancer. Because of the severity of the situation, health professionals and government officials have listed every location where military personnel may have been exposed. In addition, they’ve listed areas where and how individuals may have been told, as well as a catalog of diseases associated with it. The PACT Act also provides directions on receiving VA support if you are sick due to toxin exposure during your service.
What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? Military bases have high levels of VOCs in their drinking and swimming water, which can have an adverse effect on indoor air quality and irritate the whole body. These chemicals are present in many household and commercial products, but their high levels on military bases are linked to an increased risk of health issues among veterans.
PFASs are chemicals that are constantly present in the environment and your body, even after you attempt to remove them. You may get PFAs exposure from water, gasoline, and even the flooring on which you walk if they are not adequately sealed. In addition, due to nervous system damage and other health problems, most individuals have PFAs in their blood. In other words, even small amounts of PFAs do not necessarily damage your health immediately, but they can cause lifelong harm.
Lung cancer and leukemia are two of the late-onset health concerns resulting from the use of Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant used in Vietnam to clear vegetation.
Military personnel may have been exposed to these chemicals in various locations, including in the field, barracks, and family housing units. This situation is more dangerous because most illnesses connected to these areas manifest after decades.
Cancer symptoms may not appear for decades after serving, the nervous system may deteriorate, or the respiratory system may become damaged.
It’s always feasible to check whether you’ve been exposed to toxins in military bases through the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The PACT Act, however, guarantees that if you’re enrolled in VA healthcare, you’ll be screened for toxic exposure. In addition, the VA may establish programs that focus on specific exposure benefits and resources and conduct additional harmful exposure research.
Veterans and their families might be eligible for PACT Act benefits if exposed to toxic materials at specific locations. For example, veterans who were exposed to radiation in Spain, Thule, and Greenland, as well as those who participated in the Persian Gulf War and the Manhattan Project, are included. The list of events and locations is extensive, covering the majority, if not all, of the places where toxic exposure might have occurred during service.
According to the PACT Act, diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and high blood pressure, which may have been acquired while serving, are listed as “presumptive diseases.”
Veterans diagnosed with certain conditions will no longer have to prove they served in the military; instead, being a part of the VA will eliminate the paperwork and allow veterans more straightforward access to mental health services and other VA services. While veterans may know they can access these services, they may need help knowing where to turn. As a result of this act, the VA will take a more active approach to ensure that veterans and their families can obtain the help they need.
There are several types of water contamination, and the PACT Act can address how even the slightest exposure might negatively affect a person’s health. By addressing toxic exposures in addition to water ingestion by veterans, the PACT Act can spread awareness of how water contamination, forever chemicals, hazardous exposure, and toxic material use can negatively impact people and their families throughout their lives.
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