Hi my name is Bennett Garfinkel and I’m the medical legal researcher and legal assistant to lead attorney Brian Wiklendt here at the Maitland offices of Garfinkel Schwartz. We also have another office on the Space Coast in Florida in Cocoa Beach as well.
You may watch the video called, “Respiratory Dangers Contractos Face in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq,” on the Garfinkel Schwartz YouTube channel.
Respiratory Dangers From Overseas Exposures
I’m talking to you today about respiratory dangers, environmental exposures that quite a few contractors and veterans have been exposed to while serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Defense while setting up the bases in Afghanistan and Iraq did not think things through.
They didn’t on average each soldier or contractor produces about ten pounds of waste a day and when you have a very large contingent of soldiers or contractors on any base, the waste can get out of hand.
So the DOD decided to burn all the trash. Not in incinerators but in open air burn pits. You’ve probably seen or heard about these burn pits and are familiar with the plumes of toxic black smoke that come out. And exposure to these toxic black smokes can cause quite a few health problems.
While the DOD officially denies it, quite a bit of research recently has come out that shows a strong, strong link between these burn pits, the environmental exposure to the smoke and respiratory, cardiovascular diseases and also cancer.
Coming Home with Respiratory Problems
Quite a few individuals have come back home only to be diagnosed with severe respiratory problems, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, being winded far too easily, chronic fatigue, all of these may be signs that you were exposed to toxic chemicals from burn pits. A very common and extreme condition, irreversible I might add that a lot of contractors and veterans have been diagnosed with since coming home after exposure to burn pits on large bases is Constrictive Bronchiolitis.
Now how the lungs work is they have a lot of tiny little pockets inside the lungs that allow oxygen to get inside the bloodstream. What happens with this black smoke full of toxic chemicals is that they actually clog up these tiny little oxygen pores called alveoli and when these little oxygen pores can’t get oxygen into the blood, the whole body is not oxygenated.
You feel constantly short of breath, you can’t breathe, you feel fatigue, it’s a real terrifying condition, a lot of people feel like they’re being suffocated, it’s it’s terrible. And if you feel that you’ve had exposure to these toxic chemicals, one of the only ways to be diagnosed with this condition is to go to a pulmonary specialist and actually get a biopsy of the lung.
Hard to Diagnose Chronic Bronchiolitis
Normally for lung diseases you’re going to get X-rays or CT scans but with Chronic Bronchiolitis, you actually have to look at it through a microscope. It’s very difficult to diagnose and it’s very rare. But one of the telltale signs is that you were an otherwise a healthy individual.
No Illness Prior to Serving Overseas
You went to one of our bases in Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan or one of our bases in Africa to do contract work or if you were exposed as a veteran. And all of a sudden you develop asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. Symptoms like these can also be indicative of Constrictive Bronchiolitis the irreversible and sometimes fatal illness caused by exposure to these burn pits.
Now if you think you may have any of these symptoms, it would be a great idea to talk to a doctor or to call our offices. We have a lot of medical resources. That’s my job here I research, I find physicians, I make sure appointments are set, I make sure that our clients know exactly what’s going on.
If it’s possible they could possibly get compensation for medical illnesses which is what our firm exclusively deals with contractors that are injured overseas, exposed to environmental toxins or possibly get PTSD from their experiences: Their medical care and their lost wages are covered here by our firm.
Our Job is to Help You and Your Family
We feel here at Garfinkel Schwartz that your job isn’t to fight these insurance companies that have seemingly endless resources and numerous lawyers to deny your claim. Remember, they make their money by not giving you your medical care and we feel that that’s just ethically wrong and that’s our job here is to help you guys.
So if you’re sick and you’re feeling these really terrifying shortness of breath, suffocation or chronic fatigue, it’s our job to get you the best medical care possible to get that medical care compensated, and to make sure your family is comfortable in a lifestyle that you’re accustomed to.
Toxins Found in Bases Afghanistan, Iraq
So again, my name is Bennett Garfinkel I’m here talking to you about environmental exposures to dangerous toxins that are common in bases in Iraq and Afghanistan, for contractors and veterans exposed to these burn pits. So if you are familiar with these plumes of black smoke, remember that there’s many, many toxic chemicals in there that can cause severe respiratory illnesses.
And I’m coming to you today from the Maitland office of Garfinkel Schwartz, our law firm deals exclusively with the contractors and the Defense Base Act Law. We also have another office in Cocoa Beach, Florida. I really appreciate you listening to me today and I really hope that you can get you some help. Thank you.