The U.S. Military and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is asking that troops who were protecting or working in or around the water treatment facility being repaired by the contractor, KBR, seek treatment for possible sodium dichromate exposure, according to an AP wire article in Stars and Stripes News. The plant was Qarmat Ali near Basra.
In June, The Associated Press chronicled the health problems of the soldiers who had served at the site. Sickness with symptoms ranging from chest pain to lung disease and even death among troops who served there have been blamed on exposure at the site.
If you were deployed and working in or around this area, please seek treatment. The VA and the military are starting a tracking program to enroll anyone who may have been exposed in order to watch any health symptoms that may develop.
Among those potentially exposed were about 600 members of the National Guard, primarily from West Virginia, Oregon, South Carolina and Indiana, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told Dorgan in a separate letter dated Oct. 8. Shinseki said veterans potentially exposed will receive an annual exam, including a chest radiograph every five years.