PCBs Exposure and Health Risks for Veterans

PCBs Exposure and Health Risks for Veterans

Posted On: Dec 08, 2023

Veterans, courageous people who have given their lives for our freedom, often confront invisible struggles after their military duty. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one example of a covert opponent. Because of the serious health concerns that may arise from PCB exposure, it is essential that veterans have a thorough understanding of this issue.

This article covers PCBs Exposure and Health Risks for Veterans.

What are PCBs?

Polychlorinated Biphenyls, or PCBs, are a group of dangerous chemicals that were once used in many industrial products, such as electrical equipment, hydraulic fluids, and insulation materials. Despite being banned in the late 1970s. PCBs are a continual danger to human health since they may induce health issues and stay in the environment for a long time.

Exposure to PCBs during Military Service

Veterans who served in the military who were involved in the repair or maintenance of PCB transformers, capacitors, or conduits before to the PCB ban in 1977 may have been exposed to PCBs. Consumption of tainted food, including fish caught in rivers or lakes polluted with PCBs, breathing in air from areas near hazardous waste sites, and ingesting polluted water are other ways to get exposed.

Health Risks Associated with PCB Exposure for Veterans

1.      Cancer Risk:

There is some evidence that PCB exposure increases the incidence of cancer in veterans, particularly malignancies of the liver and biliary system. Long-term environmental exposure to PCBs, which are considered probable human carcinogens, increases the risk of cancer.

2.      Neurological Effects:

The neurological system is known to be negatively impacted by PCBs. Cognitive deficits, memory issues, and an increased risk of developing neurodegenerative illnesses may be experienced by veterans exposed to these substances.

3.      Reproductive Issues:

Reproductive issues have been associated with PCB exposure. Fertility problems may affect female veterans, while men may have problems with the quality of their sperm and their ability to procreate.

4.      Immune System Impacts:

The immune system may be compromised by PCBs, making veterans more prone to infections and other ailments. People whose health has already been compromised as a result of their military duty may find that PCB exposure makes their conditions worse.

5.      Skin Disorders:

Exposure to PCBs may cause skin problems such as rashes, acne, or other dermatological concerns. Any odd skin issues that veterans may have had as a result of their exposure should be considered very cautious.

Preventing PCBs Exposure:

1.      Awareness and Education:

The health hazards linked with PCBs, as well as other exposure sources, must be readily available to veterans and military members. To prevent unintentional exposure to these dangerous compounds, education is paramount.

2.      Protective Measures:

It is of the utmost importance that military operations that might include PCBs adhere to rigorous safety measures and make use of protective gear. This involves taking the necessary precautions when handling and disposal to reduce the likelihood of exposure.

3.      Regular Health Check-ups:

Regular medical exams should be conducted for veterans who have any suspicions that they may have been exposed to PCBs. More effective interventions and therapies may be implemented if health concerns associated with PCB exposure are identified earlier.

Compensation Benefits for Veterans

Veterans may seek VA disability benefits if they feel their health problems are a result of exposure to PCBs while serving in the military. The VA evaluates each claim individually. To find out whether they are eligible for benefits associated with PCB exposure, veterans may submit their claims online.