An article recently published by Military Times shows that Carcinogens were found at a Montana Nuclear missile site. The samples from Malmstrom Air Force Base were ordered after several men and women who lived in and around the air base received cancer diagnoses. The samples from Malmstrom showed PCB levels higher than the threshold recommended by the EPA.
According to the Torchlight Initiative, at least 268 troops who served at nuclear missile sites, or their surviving family members, have self-reported being diagnosed with cancer, blood diseases or other illnesses over the past several decades. At least 217 of those reported cases are cancers, at least 33 of them non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
More research is being conducted to determine the toxicity of not just Malstrom, but all ballistic missile bases around the United States. The incidents have not been frequently documented because, in general, there are only a few hundred individuals at any given time that work in ballistic missile bases such as Malmstom Air Base.
The Military Times article discusses exposures to PCB. However, the VA has recognized that individual who potentially served around ionizing radiation, as is the case at a nuclear missile site, were more likely to be harmed by that exposure. The VA has provided some rules regarding the presumptive service connection for conditions associated with radiation exposure.
38 C.F.R. § 3.311 provides the rules and evidence required for service connection of a condition that is believed to be associated with exposure to ionizing radiation. The Veteran must first provide evidence that they were exposed to ionizing radiation in service. If exposure to ionizing radiation is conceded, the Veteran is entitled to the service connection of any “radiogenic disease” which may later manifest. The VA has actually included all forms of cancer on the list of conditions believed to be association with the exposure, including Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
As we have seen with the PACT Act, and other recent legislation, Congress, in association with the Veterans’ Administration, has been diligent in their efforts to identify, remedy, and provide care for individuals exposed to ionizing radiation and other toxic chemicals. It is unfortunate that these service people have to put their health in jeopardy to serve our country, and it is important that the VA provide the proper care and resources for those individuals.
If you have any questions about your VA disability case, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim